URGENT: Ask Congress NOW to include help for grandfamilies in the next COVID-19 package. Contact your member of Congress now through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. You can find your member of Congress here.
When you reach the office of your member of Congress tell them:
“Include help for grandparents and other relatives raising children in the next COVID-19 package by:
- Allowing grandparents or other older relatives raising children to be eligible to receive Meals on Wheels for both themselves and their children.
- Provide an additional $20 million for kinship navigator programs to help deliver urgent supplies and support to grandfamilies. “
If you are a member of a grandfamily, let them know how COVID-19 is impacting your family. If you are serving grandfamilies, tell them how this would help the families you serve.
Below is some additional background that may be helpful to you, if they ask for more information. Thank you!
Older adults living in homes with their grandchildren are more likely to be struggling financially. Grandparents and other older relatives raising children are less able to get needed supplies and free meals available for children during COVID-19 because they typically need to leave their home to get the food placing themselves at greater risk of exposure.
For example, Cassandra Gentry, a grandparent raising her grandchildren featured in this recent Washington Post Story:
“Gentry has been leaving her apartment at Plaza West, an apartment complex in the District dedicated to grandparents raising their grandchildren, to buy groceries and take her grandchildren to pick up free lunches from school. She is grateful she has them with her and is not isolated alone at home. But she realizes this could put her at higher risk of exposure.”
Making delivered meals available to both older adults and children in these grandfamilies reduces the risk of exposure for the older adults. It also makes it less likely that caregivers will sacrifice their own nutritional needs and give their food to the children if they have meals for the children as well.