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United Way distributes $120,000 in federal funding to seniors in need during pandemic

Salvation Army, Eden Gardens, hospice society among groups granted money

United Way is working with the federal government to fast-track help for seniors who need it most during the COVID-19 pandemic.

United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island announced in a press release this week that it has granted $120,000 to local agencies to support seniors in the crisis. The grants, up to $5,000 each, come from the federal government’s COVID-19 seniors response fund.

Twenty-five agencies north of the Malahat are sharing the money, including Eden Gardens, Nanaimo Age Friendly Community Society, Nanaimo Community Hospice, People for a Healthy Community on Gabriola Island Society, Salvation Army Nanaimo Ministries and Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre.

“We know our local charities are working overtime to help seniors who need access to food, social connection and other supports,” said Signy Madden, executive director of United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island, in the release. “Knowing what agencies are effective and what the needs are on the ground in our Vancouver Island communities has allowed United Way to channel this much-needed federal funding quickly to where it is needed most.”

Deb Schulte, federal Minister of Seniors, said in the press release that the physical distancing that she called “essential” during the pandemic comes with risks of isolating seniors from their communities.

“This funding will help provide support tailored to the unique, local needs of seniors across the country,” she said.

United Way is reminding people that it is continuing to raise money to help vulnerable people across the region during the pandemic and asks for support for its Local Love in a Global Crisis campaign. For more information, click here or visit

READ ALSO: United Way asks for ‘local love’ for community’s most vulnerable in COVID-19 crisis

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