Senate Committee Approves Senator Judy Ward Plan to Assist Human Service Agencies Recover from Pandemic

(HARRISBURG) – Legislation by Senator Judy Ward (R-30) to help Pennsylvania’s community-based nonprofit organizations recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was approved this week by the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee.

Senate Bill 594 would create the Nonprofit Economic Emergency Delivery System (NEEDS) Grant program, supplemented with new federal funding. The legislation aims to create a new statewide competitive grant program for human service organizations that were adversely impacted by the Coronavirus.

“The NEEDS Grants Program would provide much-needed funding for eligible community-based human services nonprofit organizations that have suffered during the COVID-19 crisis either by closure, increased need for services or loss of revenue,” said Senator Ward, noting that the program would “dedicate $200 million of the federal American Rescue Plan funding the Commonwealth received to help these programs that are vital to the health of our communities.”

As part of the legislation, eligible organizations include childcare centers, health clinics, substance abuse treatment facilities, domestic violence operations, food banks and, among other entities, workforce training centers.

“If these critical services fails, there would be no way to deliver many critical services to our communities,” Senator Ward said.

After the unanimous committee vote Tuesday, the bill advances to the full Senate for consideration.

CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner