Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

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Coronavirus Response: Community Foundation Grants $45,000 to REAL Services, Food Bank Partnership

Funding Will Provide and Deliver Meals to Vulnerable Seniors During Coronavirus Crisis

UPDATED 2/22/20: The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has announced a second $45,000 grant to REAL Services, which will sustain this program through the month of May.

In response to the tremendous need created by the current coronavirus crisis, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has approved a $45,000 grant to REAL Services to support a new partnership with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. This partnership will provide and deliver food to approximately 1,000 low-income seniors who live in subsidized housing in St. Joseph County. Governor Holcomb’s current “stay at home” order means that many seniors— who are particularly at risk of complications caused by COVID-19 infection—have trouble securing food.

“Many of us who are younger and healthy are challenged in securing groceries for our families during this difficult time,” says Becky Zaseck, president and CEO of REAL Services. “These older adults typically do not have transportation and have limited incomes.”

Food deliveries will begin on Wednesday, April 1, and will be made once a week for a total of four weeks. The locations that will be served include Fairington Apartments, Golden Oak Village, Karl King Riverbend Tower Apartments, AHEPA 100 Senior Apartments, and LaSalle Park Homes and William C. Ellison Residence in South Bend, as well as three South Bend Housing Authority locations. In Mishawaka, the list includes Penelope 60 Senior Apartments, River View 500 Apartments, Battell School Apartments, Main Junior High Apartments, and Mary Phillips School Apartments.

Boxes of food will be delivered to the locations on pallets by the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, and REAL Services staff and volunteers will unload the boxes into the buildings. Building staff will distribute the boxes to residents. Each food box will include shelf-stable food designed to provide a week of lunches and dinners, such as canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, shelf-stable milk, canned chicken and tuna, rice, and soup.

REAL Services, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, volunteers, management of these senior apartment complexes, and funders such as the Community Foundation are all working together to help vulnerable seniors during this time of unprecedented challenges.

“REAL Services and the Food Bank are stepping up to this challenge with amazing speed and dedication,” says Rose Meissner, president of the Community Foundation. “This initiative will make a big difference for many of our community’s most vulnerable citizens as we steer through this unprecedented challenge.”