Shapiro Administration awards $3M in 2023-24 Senior Community Center Grants

Governor Shapiro secured an additional $1 million in his first budget to provide smaller grants to SCCs that do not apply for competitive grants.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today announced 45 Senior Community Centers (SCCs) from 26 counties across the Commonwealth will receive one of the Department’s 2023-24 competitive grants totaling $2 million, ensuring older adults are supported in familiar, local places with services to stay healthy and connected to their communities.

Hundreds of other SCCs that didn’t compete for the larger grants will get to divide up an additional $1 million that Governor Josh Shapiro secured in his first budget for SCCs, which serve as social support lifelines in their communities. SCCs throughout Pennsylvania welcome thousands of older adults through their doors every day. The competitive grants help SCCs fund larger-scale projects such as updating and modernizing facilities, providing new health and entertainment programs, upgrading technology, and enhancing nutrition services.

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The grant funding is appropriated by the General Assembly with proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

In Berks County, Senior Community Center competitive grants were awarded to the following organizations: $104,759 to Berks Encore Reading Center for Capital Improvement & Renovations and $14,876 to Casa de la Amistad Senior Center for Technology.

“The Department is grateful to Governor Shapiro and his ongoing commitment to supporting older adults in partnership with the General Assembly. With the additional $1 million in non-competitive grant funding, we can reach those senior centers who may not need capital improvements but have equally important initiatives to improve access and programing for older adults,” said Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich.

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“Our Senior Community Centers are a cornerstone in our communities and to the older adults they serve. A SCC may provide the only interaction that an older adult has some days, and we want to make sure that our centers are welcoming, inclusive, and assets to the local area. The projects funded by both the competitive and non-competitive grants will help the recipients enhance the programs and services already in place as well as create new opportunities to welcome current visitors and attract new consumers.”

The additional $1 million that Governor Shapiro secured in his first budget creates a new, permanent non-competitive track to the grant program. Since the competitive grants normally fund larger scale projects, the non-competitive grants will allow smaller needs to be met and more SCCs to benefit from the funding. A total of 392 SCCs were granted a non-competitive award of $2,551 per center.

Today’s announcement took place at the Berks Encore Reading Center in Berks County, one of this year’s competitive grant recipients. Joining Sec. Kavulich at the podium were State Sen. Judy Schwank, State Rep. Manuel Guzman and Berks County local leaders, including the Berks County Area Agency on Aging.

Both the competitive and non-competitive grants will help SCCs fund projects based on their needs and the needs expressed by the older adults who attend them. This year, a total of 437 SCCs received competitive or non-competitive grant funds.

There are 484 Area Agency on Aging-affiliated Senior Community Centers throughout Pennsylvania that provide a variety of offerings, such as nutritious meals, educational opportunities, transportation services, financial and insurance counseling, and exercise programs.

For more information on other services and programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians, visit the Department of Aging’s website.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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