Wilder Foundation on United Way COVID Funding: “We’re Trying to Make Everyone Feel Supported” Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

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Amherst H. Wilder Foundation was established in 1906 to support the well-being of the people of Saint Paul. Today, the foundation combines direct services, research, and community building to improve lives today and for generations to come. Their services support mental wellness, housing stability, early childhood development, community engagement, and more.

Recently, Wilder applied for and received emergency second and third round grants

from the Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to address critical needs and help underserved populations.

“Greater Twin Cities United Way has been a longtime supporter of ours, and we were so excited to receive the funding,” said Lindsay Bacher, Director of Program Development at Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. “We knew we’d be able to put it to good use- there are a lot of needs in the community right now and the United Way funding matches up with those needs.”

Wilder is using the emergency grants from the Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to run their Meals on Wheels program, provide supportive services to community members, and keep their sites clean and sanitized.

Wilder’s Meals on Wheels program currently serves about 120 older adults as well as adults who need extra support in the community. For safety reasons, Wilder switched from frequent deliveries to bringing a week’s worth of meals one time, with check-in phone calls between visits to maintain connection.

“During a pandemic, there’s an increased likelihood of isolation, so we’re trying to make sure everyone feels supported,” said Bacher. “It’s a scary time for people, and we can’t take away the scary part of this, but we can make it less isolating.”

In addition to the Meals on Wheels program, Amherst H. Wilder is also providing extra support to families in their programs who have lost jobs or hours at work due to the pandemic. Case managers are dropping off everything from groceries to cleaning supplies to diapers as well as helping parents navigate teaching their kids at home.

“We’re grateful for Greater Twin Cities United Way’s support during the pandemic, which has allowed us to respond to the families we serve with resources and care,” said Bacher. “It’s also helpful that United Way made this funding available in a flexible way because needs can change! It’s been a partnership to figure out priorities and react quickly.”

Take Action: To help, donate to the Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund at gtcuw.org/covid19 or by texting GTCUWCOVID19 to 51555.