The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, 2020, provided funding to multiple federal agencies and programs to provide financial aid to families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCDCOG is happy to announce grants were approved and will be administered by the agency for initiatives in Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

Berkeley County has two grant approvals and a third pending application to invest in vital services for the community. The first grant is a partnership between Berkeley County and Trident Area Agency on Aging totaling $147,252 to provide supplemental food resources and expand a meal delivery program for homebound seniors. These funds will address the 48% increase of seniors requesting nutritional services over the past year, supplementing an emergency pantry, purchasing additional supplies to provide meal delivery services and coordinating fresh produce distribution events with the Lowcountry Food Bank.

The second grant is a partnership with Berkeley County and Tri-Community Center Appliances for $66,990 to support the purchase and installation of appliances to re-establish a senior meal program at the Tri-Community Center based in Cross, South Carolina. The current kitchen is not equipped to store, prepare, or distribute food to meet the needs of the community. Upgrades to the kitchen facility will include the procurement and installation of new refrigerators, freezers, warming racks, combination range/ovens and a convection oven. The new equipment will allow Tri-Community Center to provide food services to additional seniors more frequently and a hot food service in their service area.

The pending grant application is for $281,650 in funding to renovate and upgrade the Tri-Community Center. With these upgrades, Tri-Community Center can serve additional seniors on a more frequent basis, implement a hot food service program and provide non-perishable food staples to seniors in need.

Dorchester County partnered with Lowcountry Food Bank on a grant worth $215,000 to address food insecurity by providing additional food resources to partner agencies throughout the county. The grant will also allow for the purchase of appliances to expand food offerings at each of the partner agencies to include fresh and/or frozen produce and proteins.

BCDCOG will administer these grants on behalf of the counties and facilitate the work to address these vital issues facing our communities. Partnerships like this are a valuable tool to address a range of issues including food insecurity and show the strength in working together as a region to improve the lives of others.