Healthy Communities funds to reduce impact of COVID-19

August 1, 2020

The Division of Public Health and the Healthy Communities Delaware initiative announced collaborations with several Delaware communities that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working with 12 community-based lead organizations, Healthy Communities Delaware is providing more than $720,000 in funding to communities across the state to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Delaware’s most vulnerable populations. This funding will help communities address important fundamental needs by creating neighborhood hubs to serve as food pantries, provide prevention care and resources, hire bilingual resource navigators, and replace deteriorating buildings with affordable rental units. Projects will engage residents in identifying the needs of their communities, building trust, and directly providing food, education, and care resources.

“We know that health is more than just healthcare,” said Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Our environments – where we live, work and play – have a huge impact on our health. We believe that all Delawareans should have the opportunity to make healthy choices regardless of their income, education or ethnic background, and we are excited about the work these communities will be doing to help us ensure all Delaware residents have access to the COVID-19 resources they need.”

“We are seeing the disproportionate impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on vulnerable Delawareans, including low-income households, Black and Hispanic communities, and non-English speakers,” said Rita Landgraf, director of the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities. “These collaborative efforts will support nine communities working with 12 community-based organizations to navigate such challenges under COVID-19 as food security, resource navigation, housing, job creation and workforce development.”

“As Delaware continues to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we know that one of the most critical supports that Healthy Communities Delaware can provide is strategic community investment,” said Stuart Comstock-Gay, president and CEO of the Delaware Community Foundation. “We are grateful to the State of Delaware for helping to fund these pragmatic community-based investments.”

Healthy Communities Delaware is collaborating with the following Sussex County communities: Food Bank of Delaware, $49,950; La Esperanza, $49,950; and Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Ellendale, $25,500.

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