ChristianaCare provides $1.1 million through its Community Investment Fund to 13 nonprofit organizations.

This is the second round of grants since the Launch of the Community Investment Fund in 2019. ChristianaCare partners with organizations that provide resources for healthy meals, a safe place to sleep, and healthy, safe and affordable homes, reflecting the findings of ChristianaCare Community Health Needs Assessment.

In Delaware, 12.6% of households are food insecure, which means they don’t know how to support their families or they can’t. Likewise, affordable housing, as well as appropriate housing for people with physical and behavioral health needs, has become increasingly scarce, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This year’s Community Investment Fund recipients represent a powerful group of organizations working tirelessly to address the social determinants of health, particularly as they relate to access to food and housing,” said Erin Booker, PLC, Vice President of Behavioral Health and Social Care Integration at ChristianaCare. “These organizations were already doing great work, and with these funds, they will have greater reach and impact.

More than 60 community organizations have applied for up to $100,000 in grants for one-year projects that include expanding the delivery of farm produce boxes to seniors in need; nutritional training and food preparation workshops; and weatherization and home repair projects.

This year, grants were awarded to programs in New Castle County and Sussex County, as well as Cecil County, MD.

The following organizations received funding:
West End Neighborhood House/Farm Spot Light – Teach young people how to prepare healthy meals using fresh food grown at Bright Spot Farm, an urban farm in New Castle.
Lori’s hands – To improve the lives of Delawares living with chronic illness by helping with companionship, meal preparation, grocery shopping and other activities of daily living.
Delaware, Inc. Community Collaboration. – Help residents of five sober homes learn to plan, shop and prepare healthy food themselves.
Milton Community Pantry – Reducing food insecurity in North East Sussex County and South East Kent County, with a fortnightly meal service and food distributions four times a month.
Delaware Food Bank – Increase access to fresh produce for low-income seniors through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
Project New Beginnings, Inc.. – Assist in the transition of people from incarceration to the community.
Sussex County Habitat for Humanity – Keeping Sussex County families healthier by improving home energy efficiency, safety and affordability.
Bayside Community Network, Inc.. – Improve the health and safety of members of the Cecil County disabled community by making repairs to group homes.
Children and families first – Provide year-round access to nutritious food for children in Kent and Sussex counties.
Ours alone from Cecil County – To provide short-term housing and peer support to homeless people and those in crisis in Cecil County.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware – Provide daily hot meals to members of the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware in New Castle County and develop outreach for the homeless and other vulnerable food insecure families and individuals in the county.
West Cornerstone Community Development Corporation – Address food insecurity on the West Side of Wilmington by promoting local foods through farmers markets, community gardens and open spaces.
Communities in Delaware Schools – Helping more than 500 families in Delaware’s three counties stay healthy, fed, and housed through school-based assistance and services.

– A $100,000 grant from the Community Investment Fund means Project New Start, Inc. will be able to help 16 previously incarcerated people get the housing assistance, employment training and case management services needed to return to their communities and families. “We know that for people to succeed, they need safe housing,” said Priscilla Turgon, founder and executive director of Project New Start, Inc., which runs an intensive 10-week reintegration program to help newly released from prison to make better decisions and increase their chances of getting a job.” They need tools to help them make better decisions. Having a place to live and something to eat makes all the difference .

– With funding from ChristianaCare, On Our Own of Cecil County, Inc., is providing hotel vouchers, meals, and personal hygiene kits to unhoused people, including those in crisis, people going out incarceration, mental health treatment or convalescent homes. The short-term hotel vouchers will complement existing offerings of On Our Own wellness, education and peer services, including resource coordination and support groups.

Grant recipients use the Unite Us Payments digital solution to capture standardized data and results and measure the success of each grant. This solution has proven essential for keeping projects on track and promoting connections between organizations.

“Incorporating the Unite Delaware platform not only allows us to connect customers with more resources, when needed, but also teaches pre-health professionals – our student trainees – the importance of a efficient resource navigation,” said Maggie Ratnayake., general manager of Lori’s Hands, which is setting up a pilot project with Primary care at home provide comprehensive support to community members living with chronic illness.