Friday, October 22, 2021

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Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

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House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

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An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Faith-Based Grants Aim to Close Equity Gaps in At-Risk Communities

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Friday, March 26, 2021   

FAIRFAX, Va. - More and more people are turning to faith-based groups for help during the pandemic. In Virginia and other East Coast states, one organization is offering funding for faith-based community projects that address urgent needs and disparities from the impact of the health crisis.

The American Heart Association is awarding grants to religious groups with business models that help at-risk communities with poverty, food insecurity and other social issues that impact health outcomes.

In an online forum about the new grant, the Rev. Leroy Miles of ENON Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia presented his church's annual "Know Your Numbers" health screening day as an example of the kind of projects eligible for the grant.

This year, the day was even more vital as many have missed health screenings during the pandemic.

"We set up in our parking lot and persons drove through," said Miles. "They were able to receive a take-home colon screening kit, HIV screenings. And our nurses' ministry, they are doing blood-pressure checks."

Applications for the Faith-Based Accelerator are open until April 30 and available to East Coast places of worship from Vermont to Virginia. Go to empoweredtoserve.org for more information.

Bishop Abraham Shanklin is the executive director of the Center for Transformation church in Maryland.

He has been emphasizing forming more partnerships to help church members with feelings of isolation. Those partnerships led to a food-distribution service - another model for funding.

"That's why we were able to feed 1,200 people per week," said Shanklin, "and continue to do that having distributed over 50,000 pounds of food because of local partnerships."

People facing hunger insecurity in Virginia skyrocketed during the pandemic from almost 10% in February of 2020 to more than 22% of the population in June.

The Faith-Based Accelerator grants total $105,000 for faith institutions and leaders with business models for at-risk communities.


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