Monday, May 27, 2024

Shreveport-Bossier nonprofits receive AEP Foundation grants for pandemic-related services

by BIZ Magazine

The American Electric Power Foundation has awarded a total of $23,500 to five Shreveport-Bossier City nonprofits in Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s (SWEPCO) service area providing additional health and human services in response to COVID-19.

Grant dollars will aid organizations in expanding services and accommodating increased caseloads.

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including SWEPCO.

Organizations receiving funds include:

1.     Shreveport Green, $7,500, to help with its Mobile Market curbside delivery

2.     Bossier Council on Aging, $4,000,to respond to an increase in meal support

3.     Common Ground Community, $4,000, to support food pantry requests and tutoring

4.     Catholic Charities of North Louisiana, $4,000, to aid in family support programming, budgeting classes and food pantry requests

5.     Christian Service, $4,000, to support clothing and feeding programs

“SWEPCO is thrilled to assist these important organizations and make the connection to the AEP Foundation to provide much-needed services to residents during this extraordinary time,” said Michael Corbin, External Affairs manager.

Donna Curtis, executive director of Shreveport Green, said the grant was a lifesaver for the organization.

“The grant enabled us to do curbside delivery to all of our Mobile Market customers,” including those scared to be out and about, Curtis said.

Across the Red River in Bossier City, funds help the community’s homebound senior citizens have access to meals from local restaurants by way of the Bossier Council on Aging.

“Once the stay-at-home order went into effect, we were inundated with seniors who were unable to get to the grocery store or were unable to find what they need at the grocery store,” said Executive Director Tamara Crane. “We had more people calling us asking for meal support.”

With the Foundation’s funding, Crane was able to partner with local restaurants to provide food vouchers for meals outside of the council’s Meals on Wheels lunch hour program. 

“Senior citizens can take the voucher and use it at any time of the day,” said Crane. “This allows the person to get a meal at a more convenient time for them versus when we are delivering lunch.”

The AEP Foundation has provided nearly $3 million in emergency funds to support basic human needs (food, shelter, and housing assistance) and other COVID-19 related emergencies across the AEP system.

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