On Feb. 4, The United Way of Greater St. Louis awarded 10 different one-time grants, including the Lincoln County Council on Aging. 

The LCCOA received $4,427 allocated from EFSP’s Phase 38 funding, which is given to emergency food and shelter programs. 

“LCCOA has been serving meals to the homebound and on-site to encourage social-connectivity.” LCCOA Fundraising and Growth Coordinator Lindsey Kelley said. 

LCCOA is the only community center and home-delivered meal program for all 642 square miles of Lincoln County.  On top of delivering meals, they also offer many free activities and evidence-based programs to help the community through its motto, “Live Your Best Life”. “It has been a huge blessing to receive this money to continue our works for LCCOA and the Lincoln County community.” Kelley said.  

In the last 38 years, the EFSP will have distributed $5.03 billion to over 14,000 human service agencies in more than 2,500 communities across the country through private and public collectors. 

“The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was established on March 24, 1983 and has continued to be an amazing support system for years.” Kelley said.

The United Way of Greater St. Louis’ area grants totaled $46,914 to local nonprofits, community agencies and faith-based organizations working to bridge the digital divide in the St. Louis region. In total, the funding will allow organizations to provide more than 150 youth, seniors and individuals living with disabilities impacted by COVID-19 with Internet access and digital devices for virtual learning and continued access to critical programs and services.

The digital divide refers to the growing gap among vulnerable populations with little to no access to computers or the Internet.

“The digital divide is not a new challenge for many across our community, but the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated that need, as more students engage in virtual learning and people need alternatives to face-to-face interactions,” said Michelle Tucker, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “United Way is committed to supporting local agencies that are helping to bridge this gap, with the majority of our Safety Net partner agencies providing digital supports in this crucial time.  

“These grants will provide additional, needed support to agencies that are helping our most vulnerable populations to keep learning, working and stay connected socially to live their best possible lives.”