Eight community action agencies are expanding their emergency programs across the state, thanks to a $450,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

“We are honored to help those on the frontlines delivering food to Michiganders struggling due to COVID-19,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “More residents need help feeding their families, and it’s important we support the local agencies that are both meeting their immediate hunger needs and developing new ways to deliver vital services safely. Consumers Energy is committed to investing in our communities to help power through these challenging times together.”

The grant will support agencies trying to keep up with an increase in requests for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state said.

“The beauty of community action is that we’re nimble,” said Lisa Bolen, executive director of Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, which provides core services such as food and emergency and short-term housing to individuals and families in 11 counties.

In April, food programs in Bolen’s region reported a 46 percent increase in food distribution and a 76 percent increase in requests for home-delivered meals, the state said.

“We thank our partners at Consumers Energy Foundation for helping us work with community action agencies to provide access to food and meet the other needs of Michiganders who are being affected by COVID-19. With this substantial grant, community action agencies will quickly scale up emergency food distribution, home-delivered meal programs, and other emergency services,” said Lewis Roubal, senior deputy director of opportunity for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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