Daily News

Community Foundation Supports LifePath’s Work with Food Insecurity, Mental Health

GREENFIELD — LifePath received $40,000 from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM). The grant, from the CFWM COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley, will offer continuing support to LifePath in its response to the COVID-19 crisis and in its role assisting residents of the Pioneer Valley with food insecurity and mental-health issues.

This is in addition to the $121,000 CFWM granted to LifePath in 2020 to provide pandemic relief and budget stabilization. Those monies were used at the beginning of the pandemic to help LifePath move quickly to adapt its programs, such as in-home assistance, meal delivery, and social support, to meet the changing needs of its consumers in the safest way possible. As the pandemic continued, LifePath utilized the funds to quickly purchase and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to home health aides and personal-care attendants who spend hours inside the homes of consumers, as well as to distribute PPE to the 1,700 consumers themselves.

The funds from CFWM also enabled LifePath to begin contacting consumers to gauge their interest in receiving meals through a special program. This funding allowed LifePath to provide frozen meals to more than 200 consumers under age 60 who did not qualify for LifePath’s Meals on Wheels program. These consumers were going without proper nutrition due to the loss of some of their workers or loss of access to the grocery store due to COVID-19.

In addition, CFWM funds were used to cover the costs of critically needed technology, groceries, personal-care items, and to support LifePath’s operating budget.

“Working with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts has been a positive and meaningful experience as we’ve navigated and addressed the COVID crisis and related inequalities primarily created by age, geography, and health status,” said Barbara Bodzin, LifePath’s executive director. “I have a profound appreciation for CFWM’s efforts to put resources in the hands of those making the biggest difference in our communities. It’s not lost on us that there are hundreds of worthy nonprofit organizations in the Pioneer Valley. For LifePath to be viewed as one carrying out a mission that matches the goals of CFWM’s donors, we feel valued.

“The pandemic has put those we serve at higher risk for isolation, malnutrition, and reduced access to supports, making a vulnerable population even more so,” she added. “Funding received through the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts allows LifePath consumers to live a better life than they might without the support CFWM so generously helps us to provide.”