(Alexandria, Va.) – Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) has been awarded over $1.5 million in federal grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The funding will be used to support four national AmeriCorps projects, including the COVID-19 Response AmeriCorps grant, the Nutrition Education National Direct program, the Financial Education program and the Family Strengthening VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program.
The COVID-19 Response AmeriCorps grant, through AmeriCorps State & National, is a new award. This program will have 21 members serving across the country providing supportive services related to disaster case management to clients affected by COVID-19. Through the disaster case management model, members will work with clients to have their basic needs met and increase their self-sufficiency.
CCUSA also received continued funding for two existing programs: the Nutrition Education National Direct program, with nine members implementing the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Life curriculum (a community engagement program that aims to positively change relationships with healthy food and improve overall nutrition), and the Financial Education program with 13 members implementing the FDIC’s Money Smart for Adults curriculum to increase financial education and stability.
The continuation and expansion of funding for the Family Strengthening Program, through AmeriCorps VISTA, allows CCUSA to increase the size of the program from 41 to 46 VISTAs. These national service members build the capacity of local Catholic Charities programs that promote families’ self-sufficiency.
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 $6,300 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.
For the past year, thousands of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members across all 50 states and U.S. territories have continued their service, quickly adapting to meet the changing needs caused by the pandemic. Dedicated members have persisted to support communities as they respond and recover from the impact of COVID-19, developing new ways to deliver the same services to keep both themselves and those they serve safe.
The recently passed American Rescue Plan includes an additional $1 billion for AmeriCorps. The agency will use this investment to expand national service programs into new communities and increase the opportunity for all Americans to serve their country.
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through thousands of nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped 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.
As the federal agency for volunteering and service, AmeriCorps brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges. Since the agency’s inception in 1994, nearly 1.2 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation. 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 for more than 13 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic background. To learn more, visit www.CatholicCharitiesUSA.org.
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.
Patricia Cole, Vice President of External Relations
ABOUT CATHOLIC CHARITIES
A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 15 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.