Photo courtesy of the Berks County Community Foundation. Helping Harvest’s Mobile Markets have served an increasing number of Berks County residents during the pandemic.

Seven organizations have been awarded grants totaling $141,300 for programs that improve the health and well-being of Berks County residents. The money was awarded from the Home Health Care Foundation Fund of Berks County Community Foundation.

The Home Health Care Foundation Fund also has another round of $146,600 in funding available now for organizations and programs that benefit the health of residents of Berks County and the counties that are contiguous to it. Preference will be given to Berks County organizations.

Applications are due March 15. The maximum amount available per organization is $40,000. To apply, visit bccf.org and click on “Apply for a grant” under “Scholarships + Grants” in the website menu.

The $141,300 that was awarded marks the first round of grants ever distributed from the Home Health Care Foundation Fund, which was established at the Community Foundation in 2020.

“This fund will have two grant cycles per year, investing nearly $300,000 annually in local programs that will have a powerful impact on the health of Berks County residents,” said Monica Reyes, Community Foundation Health and Human Services Program Officer.

The organizations and their programs that received grants in the first round: Helping Harvest $40,000 to provide food assistance to local residents during the pandemic. Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center $36,458 to launch the new Door to Door Labs program, which offers mobile services to those seeking the comfort, convenience and safety of having necessary diagnostic testing procedures performed at home.

Western Berks Free Medical Clinic $20,790 for hardware, software and training to implement a telemedicine model due to the pandemic. Community Prevention Partnership $20,000 for the Nourishing Families/Nutriendo Familias program, which improves almost 500 low-income families’ access to fresh produce and provides ethnically and culturally appropriate nutritional information and activities to prevent childhood obesity.

Co-County Wellness Services-Operating Support $12,052 to improve the public health of Berks County through service, education and advocacy. Abilities in Motion $10,000 for emergency accessibility kits that enable nonprofits to better serve people who have disabilities.

Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvani: $2,000 for the Patient Emergency Assistance Program, which addresses socioeconomic barriers for those facing chronic kidney disease by providing public transportation, nutritional supplements, emergency food, prescription co-pays, medical equipment, and more.

The Home Health Care Foundation Fund provides grants for organizations and programs that provide educational activities that promote the general health and wellness of residents, organizations and programs that help residents recover from illness or disability at home, organizations that provide health-related charity care to residents, and programs and activities that support preventative healthcare for residents and overall community health.

The second application period in 2021 for this fund will be from June 1 until August 15.

On January 1, 2019, Tower Health assumed the operations of Home Health Care Management, Berks Visiting Nurse Association, the Visiting Nurse Association of Pottstown and Vicinity, and Advantage Home Care.

For years, each of these organizations provided compassionate and much-needed care to the communities they served. In that spirit, the Home Health Care Foundation was created as part of the merger to support charity care and other programs for the good of the community.

The Home Health Care Foundation became an affiliate of Berks County Community Foundation in 2020.

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