The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today announced 48 Senior Community Centers (SCCs) throughout the Commonwealth will be the recipients of the department’s 2022-23 Senior Community Center grants – totaling $2 million in funding appropriated by the General Assembly from the Pennsylvania Lottery.
“Our Senior Community Centers are pillars in our communities and to the older adults they serve. Whether it’s a meal, health and wellness activities, or socializing, these centers help our seniors thrive and continue to live independently as they age. Many times, a SCC may be the only interaction that an older adult has, and we want to make sure that our centers are welcoming, inclusive, and inviting,” said Acting Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich. “The projects funded by the Senior Community Center grants will help the recipients enhance the programs and services that are already in place as well as create new opportunities to welcome current visitors and attract new consumers.”
This year marks the return of awarding the grants through a competitive process. During the last two years of the pandemic, when many of Pennsylvania’s senior community centers were struggling, the competition aspect of the grants was suspended and the $2 million in grant money was distributed equally to help all of the centers in the state.
“The proposed additional $1 million would allow for two funding tracks, both competitive and non-competitive, which would help us reach those senior centers that traditionally have struggled with hitting the high bar required as a part of the competitive grant cycle,” Kavulich added. “Having a non-competitive track would help ensure those senior centers have funds coming into their doors to buy new computers, to get new exercise equipment or just to take care of the little everyday things that wear down over time.”
There are 485 Senior Community Centers throughout Pennsylvania that provide a variety of offerings, such as nutritious meals, educational opportunities, transportation services, financial and insurance counseling, and exercise programs. Proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery help to fund these programs every year.