HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) announced it has awarded $2 million in grants equally among 405 Area Agency on Aging-affiliated Senior Community Centers (SCCs) for the fiscal year 20-2021.
Due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SCCs across the commonwealth and the resulting needs, PDA deviated from a traditional competitive grant process and disbursed the funding to the 52 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to allocate among all of its eligible centers.
Each AAA will receive nearly $5,000 for each eligible SCC. The funding was appropriated by the General Assembly from the Pennsylvania Lottery.
“Our senior community centers have faced challenging times, with many of them operating at limited hours, virtually or not at all during the pandemic. As a result, participants have missed out on congregate meals and social or educational activities along with the camaraderie and support that these centers offer,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres.
“Given these extraordinary circumstances, we’re pleased to be able to allocate this funding to help all eligible SCCs throughout the commonwealth sustain their operations. This approach provides funding to all of these centers to help strengthen their overall ability to persevere and prepare them to welcome participants back.”
Each SCC will have the flexibility to spend the funding through June 30, 2022 on a variety of projects to best meet the needs of the center and their participants during the pandemic. Project types include COVID-19 mitigation, capital improvements and renovations, programs and services, technology, nutrition services, marketing and outreach and rent and utilities.
Senior community centers operated through PDA and its network of AAAs provide a variety of programs and services such as nutritious meals, educational programs, fitness and well-being classes, transportation services, financial and insurance counseling and volunteer opportunities. Proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery help to fund these programs every year.