Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) is excited to announce that it received a $148,500 grant through the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation’s COVID-19 Fill the Gap Response Fund to support its Feeding LSC Heroes Project. The funds from this grant will provide support for essential frontline workers in LSC skilled nursing and independent living communities. Grant funding will provide food not only for these workers, but also for their families, during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The Fill the Gap Response Fund was formed to support North Carolina’s people and places disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The pandemic exacerbated health and economic challenges already present in rural communities and vulnerable populations around the state,” Julia Wacker, senior vice president of the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation, said. “They are often hit harder and take longer to recover.”
The foundation distributed a request for proposals (RFP) in May to healthcare, human service, safety net, and grassroots organizations for projects addressing health disparities created or worsened by the pandemic.
Following a review process, LSC was awarded one of 19 grants with an average size of $87,635. Lead funders of the initiative include the David A. Tepper Foundation, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation, and the Duke Endowment.
About the Feeding LSC Heroes Project
Every day dedicated LSC frontline workers – nursing, housekeeping, dietary, and maintenance staff – make sure that residents in 11 LSC skilled nursing and independent living communities across North Carolina receive the highest quality of care and daily opportunities for joy and fulfillment.
These employees have always been essential, but during this COVID-19 pandemic, it is apparent now more than ever that their knowledge, skills and boundless compassion are crucial to the health and well-being of the residents in their respective facilities and to the peace of mind for residents’ families who are separated from their loved ones during this difficult time.
To support its frontline workers, the nonprofit created the Feeding LSC Heroes Project which offers free meals to staff at skilled nursing facilities each shift they work. They no longer need to worry about packing a lunch or paying for a meal while they work. To date, LSC has provided over 8,000 free meals.
LSC also provides a simple weekly meal and other household essentials for these staff members to take home to share with their families. To date, 1,197 employees have received these weekly take home items.
In the simple, but very meaningful act of providing food, the Feeding LSC Heroes Project is helping to lessen the financial and emotional strain frontline employees are facing during this uncertain time as many are living paycheck to paycheck. The lack of staple items and the long lines at grocery stores further increases anxiety. Helping to eliminate some of their worries about providing for themselves and their families helps employees feel appreciated and better able to fully focus on caring for residents while they are at work.
“We are extremely grateful to the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation for providing more support to our essential frontline teammates. They leave their own families every day to serve our most vulnerable populations, so giving them some peace of mind by providing meals is the least we can do,” LSC President and CEO Ted Goins said. “In this time of uncertainty, one thing still rings true; our teammates are heroes.”
This $148,500 will allow LSC to continue feeding its heroes, while they continue to battle this pandemic.