Funds are being delivered to help local seniors who are struggling because of the pandemic.

United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) has granted $120,000 through the federal COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund.

The funding will go to local charitable organizations, to support vulnerable seniors affected by COVID-19.

It’s supporting 25 local groups from the Malahat to Port Hardy through grants of up to $5,000.

The COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund is funded by the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

“We know our local charities are working overtime to help seniors who need access to food, social connection and other supports,” said Signy Madden, executive director, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island. “Knowing what agencies are effective and what the needs are on the ground in our Vancouver Island communities has allowed United Way to channel this much needed federal funding quickly to where it is needed most.”

“The partnership offered by United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 Seniors Response Grant has given us the opportunity to make a significant impact on both the physical and mental health of some of our most vulnerable seniors,” added Kris Huddlestan, vice chair of the Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society in Port Hardy.

“We know the meals are appreciated but our seniors are all missing the activities, meals, and visits with friends they are used to. Just knowing that they are remembered means so much.”

Agencies benefiting in this region include the Comox Bay Care Society, Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre, Comox Valley Senior Support Society, Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society, Lush Valley Food Action Society, and Volunteer Campbell River.

Federal seniors minister Deb Schulte said that by using local expertise, this funding will help provide support tailored to the unique, local needs of seniors across the country.

“As we work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus, the government is supporting Canadians every step of the way,” Schulte added.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) provides grants and contributions for projects that help improve the well-being of seniors and foster their social inclusion. ‘

To provide immediate essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19, the federal government is providing $9 million under the NHSP to be distributed through the United Way Canada network.

These funds will help organizations providing support to seniors dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the UWCNVI is actively inviting prospective donors to contribute to the Local Love in a Global Crisis campaign, which helps local people with basic needs. Learn more and donate here.