Alexandria, Va. (May 22, 2019) –Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is pleased to announce that it has received over $1.2 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs.
The funding will be used to support four national AmeriCorps projects including the Nutrition Education National Direct program; the Family Strengthening VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program; the New Americans VISTA program; and the Peer Navigator National Direct program.
“The AmeriCorps funding from CNCS will enable us to engage more Americans in service across the country, increasing our ability to respond to the most critical issues facing our communities,” said Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA.
CCUSA will implement the Nutrition Education National Direct program using the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Life® curriculum. The American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, and Aramark, the largest U.S.-based food service company, launched Healthy for Life 20 By 20 in 2015 to improve the health of all Americans. The Healthy for Life community engagement program aims to positively change relationships with healthy food and improve overall nutrition. Nine AmeriCorps members will serve across the country implementing the curriculum. For more information on Healthy for Life 20 By 20, visit www.heart.org/healthyforlife.
Twenty VISTAs, through the Family Strengthening VISTA program, will build the capacity of local Catholic Charities programs that promote families’ self-sufficiency. The continuation of funding for the New Americans VISTA Program will allow 10 VISTAs to support capacity building efforts for immigration and refugee programs. The Peer Navigator Program, with 20 AmeriCorps members, will provide trauma-informed case management and peer navigation to veterans and military families.
AmeriCorps’ unique model means that the grants announced today will leverage additional funding from the private sector, foundations, and other sources – further increasing the return on the federal investment.
CNCS will provide additional funding through Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 21,000+ schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens play a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and help thousands of first generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served, providing more than 1.5 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.6 billion in education scholarships — more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student debt. Those interested in joining AmeriCorps can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join.
About Catholic Charities USA
CCUSA, a member of Caritas Internationalis, is the national office for the Catholic Charities ministry nationwide. CCUSA’s members provide help and create hope to more than ten million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds.
About The Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation’s volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.