SVCOA announces American Rescue Plan Act grant recipients

12 grants awarded to bolster community initiatives in support of older Vermonters

Vermont Business Magazine Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging (SVCOA) today announced that it has awarded more than $66,000 in supportive grants to 12 different aging services community organizations throughout Bennington and Rutland counties recently made available through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”).

“SVCOA, along with the other Vermont Area Agencies on Aging, was able to offer ARPA grant funding intended to support community projects and initiatives that align with the core objectives of the Older Americans Act and will make a positive impact on older Vermonters throughout our service area,” said Chris Adams, Development and Communications Director with SVCOA. “We fielded a strong, diverse collection of grant applications and are very pleased to be able to support all 12 applicant organizations with grant funding.”

To be eligible for ARPA funding, proposed projects and activities needed to meet Older American Act requirements that funds be used to support: low-income older individuals; low-income minority older individuals; older individuals with limited English proficiency; older individuals residing in rural areas; focused development of resources to help build greater service capacity and advance the development and implementation of comprehensive, coordinated systems of service to older adults; and initiatives that are able to provide quality, data-based outcomes in correlation with grant investment.

The following organizations and initiatives have been awarded grant funding via Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging and the American Rescue Act Plan of 2021:

Bennington County Meals Program – information technology infrastructure upgrades to better support meal coordination and delivery for older Vermonters in Bennington County.

Bennington Free Library – creation of a dementia-friendly book collection to be accessible to families, skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, and other community organizations serving memory-challenged adults.

Bennington Project Independence – information technology infrastructure upgrades to support the hybridization of adult day services and increase participant accessibility to adult day programs and activities from both home and congregate settings.

Brandon Senior Meals by Brandon Senior Center – continuation of free community lunches and monthly brunches that support older Vermonter nutrition and socialization needs.

Castleton Senior Center and Castleton Community Seniors – handicap accessibility building improvements to encourage increased attendance at Castleton Senior Center for those with mobility issues, as well as greater attendee satisfaction.

Come Alive Outside – further development of the Mile-A-Day walking program available to 2,000 older Vermonters in Rutland and Bennington counties. Mile-A-Day is a walking challenge that encourages individuals to establish and track healthy walking habits, creates a stronger social network for older Vermonters, and helps participants become more comfortable with utilizing technology.

Neighbor to Neighbor – further development of assistance for older Vermonters in southwestern Vermont around transportation to medical appointments, help with shopping and errands, assistance around the house and yard, friendly visits and phone calls, and monthly social gatherings to keep residents engaged in their community.

Poultney Young at Heart Senior Center – facility improvements around refrigeration and food management and delivery infrastructure to increase service capacity and meet rising demand on Poultney Young at Heart Senior Center.

RSVP & The Volunteer Center – creation of a walking club in each town in Rutland County to support the overall wellness and socialization of older Vermonters across the Rutland County region.

Rutland Free Clinic – increased provision of influenza, pneumonia and shingles vaccinations to vulnerable older Vermonters residing outside of healthcare assisted facilities throughout Rutland County and lack the ability to pay for this important preventative care.

Rutland Housing Authority (SASH) – increased monthly breakfast and lunch meal support for residents of Rutland Housing Authority and the SASH program.

Vermont Farmer’s Food Center – development of “Eat at Home,” a new pilot project that will target older, low income, nutritionally at-risk Rutland County residents who have limited access to fresh food but can still cook for themselves. As a locally-sourced food program, “Eat at Home” will distribute fresh, local produce to participants to help improve their overall health and wellness, and will also assist with meal preparation and planning through recipe suggestions and additional advisement.


Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging’s mission is to empower Vermonters to age with dignity, independence and quality of life. With offices in Rutland and Bennington, SVCOA offers a wide range of supports, services and programs for older Vermonters, caregivers and volunteers across Rutland and Bennington counties.

For more information about SVCOA, visit

RUTLAND, Vt. – Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging