Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester announce over $280K to support COVID-19 recovery efforts in Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del.–U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) announced today that Georgetown’s CHEER, Inc. will receive $282,378 in federal funding from AmeriCorps. The award will support 1,000 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in Sussex County as they help local communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic through service work.

Through CHEER, Inc., AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers will support Sussex County CHEER Nutrition, Meals on Wheels, Kitchen Helpers, non-emergency medical transportation and charities. Each year, AmeriCorps Seniors engages nearly 200,000 Americans 55 and older through its Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and RSVP programs, leveraging their passion and knowledge to address some of our country’s most pressing issues. 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.

“It wasn’t too long ago that I was helping staff package meals in the kitchen at CHEER, and hearing about all of the good they do in Sussex County to help our seniors, as well as the increased need they have to continue their services,” said Senator Carper. “I was proud to support the American Rescue Plan Act, and I am grateful for the AmeriCorps program for helping fill this need and supporting our seniors.”

“AmeriCorps members have stepped up to meet urgent community needs during the pandemic and are always among the first to answer the call to serve when we move our communities forward,” said Senator Coons. “CHEER, Inc. does exceptional work in Sussex County assisting and enabling our seniors to continue living a healthy independent life, and I’m thankful that AmeriCorps recognizes its impact and is awarding critical American Rescue Plan funds to invest its mission.”

“This investment of over $280,000 from the American Rescue Plan, which I voted to pass last year, announced today from AmeriCorps will send more volunteers to help the members of CHEER, Inc. in Georgetown – strengthening our state’s resources to rebuild our communities as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “I am grateful to AmeriCorps for recognizing the importance of adding additional volunteers to improve the lives and well-being of seniors in Sussex County who depend on CHEER’s vital services.”

“This funding is essential in helping CHEER to rebuild its network of volunteers that  experienced hardships throughout this pandemic, while continuing to serve and support the needs of our senior citizens throughout Sussex County.  Volunteers are the lifeblood of the CHEER nutrition program and this funding will help insure that our seniors continue to receive the CHEER meals they depend on,” said Ken Bock, CEO, CHEER. Inc. 

This grant uses American Rescue Plan funds for which Senator Carper, Senator Coons, and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester voted to pass in March of 2021. This relief package advanced the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to support diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility; assist states with low vaccination rates; and expand services in communities that are addressing the root causes of poverty.