Franklin Countys First News

United Way of the Tri-Valley Area receives AmeriCorps grant

FARMINGTON - United Way of the Tri-Valley Area has received a $27,657 AmeriCorps grant from the Maine Commission for Community Service to support two AmeriCorps members who will work with area food pantries to increase the number of volunteers serving, train these volunteers to connect individuals to additional community resources, establish a food pantry network to advance communication and leverage additional resources; and increase the amount of locally grown, nutritious food available at 13 local food pantries.

This grant will support AmeriCorps members who will serve in 27 towns in the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area service area. AmeriCorps members will tackle the critical challenges of food insecurity, allowing United Way to expand its impact on this important local issue.

“AmeriCorps is an indispensable resource to help meet critical challenges facing our communities and nation,” said Lisa Laflin executive director of United Way of the Tri-Valley Area. "We're thrilled that the Maine Commission for Community Service has recognized the potential that AmeriCorps members in Maine offer to communities. These AmeriCorps members will meet pressing local needs as they develop civic and leadership skills that last a lifetime.”

"AmeriCorps members are improving the lives of citizens and having a positive and lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our communities,” said John Portela, Chair of the Commission for Community Service. “While they serve others, AmeriCorps members also expand opportunity for themselves – gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. We congratulate United Way of the Tri-Valley Area for their strong application, and thank all AmeriCorps members for their dedication to service.”

AmeriCorps programs operate as a public-private partnership that leverages significant amounts of outside resources to stretch the federal dollar and increase community impact. This grant will generate an additional $23,595 in local matching support and other outside resources from businesses, foundations, and other organizations.

AmeriCorps program funds originate with the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. State Service Commissions, like the Maine Commission, manage and support grants that operate within their state while the federal agency manages programs operating in multiple states.

In addition to the grant funding which provides members with a living allowance, the Corporation for National & Community Service will make 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 $5,815 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.

AmeriCorps annually engages 80,000 members in intensive service to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 25,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. More than a 5700 Maine residents have served among the million AmeriCorps members who have chosen to serve since 1994. These Mainers have contributed more than 8 million hours of service addressing critical challenges from poverty and hunger to disasters and the dropout crisis.

For more information about applying for these AmeriCorps positions, please contact director@uwtva.org or call 778-5048.

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