AmeriCorps Statement on the First Anniversary of the American Rescue Plan
National service agency commemorates historic $1 billion investment to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmeriCorps joins the Biden-Harris administration in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a landmark legislative package that delivered immediate relief for the American people. The bill included a historic $1 billion investment in AmeriCorps to bolster community response efforts to the pandemic while also aiding economic recovery.
“One year ago, President Biden told Americans that help was on the way,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “Since the start of the pandemic, AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers have helped support communities, especially underserved and disproportionately impacted communities. The American Rescue Plan allowed us to take the Biden-Harris administration’s goals and strengthen the work of our members and programs throughout the nation.”
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 included unprecedented funding to stop the spread of COVID-19 and respond to the public health, education and economic crises caused by the pandemic. It funded a national vaccination program, provided aid for small businesses struggling to keep their doors open, reduced child poverty, reopened schools and helped parents to get back to work.
During the last year, AmeriCorps members, volunteers and programs have assisted more than 12.3 million Americans with COVID-19 related support. Efforts include assistance to more than 2.5 million people at vaccination sites, 36.7 million meals provided to families in need, as well as 170 million pounds of food collected and distributed to at-risk communities.
AmeriCorps continues to use these funds to create new national service opportunities, provide additional benefits for members and volunteers and support nonprofit organizations working in underserved communities. Funds from the American Rescue Plan also improved accessibility to national service by offering an increase in living allowances for AmeriCorps State and National and VISTA members.
Specifically, ARP fund have been invested in the following AmeriCorps programs:
- AmeriCorps State and National ($644 million) increased living allowances for members, distributed formula funding for Governor-appointed state service commissions, expanded access to match replacement funds, and expanded existing programs to meet increased needs.
- AmeriCorps VISTA ($80 million) increased living allowances for most AmeriCorps VISTA members, added 1,000+ new Summer Associate positions during the Summer of May 2021 and expanded programming efforts on the critical needs currently facing communities, including public health, food insecurity and learning loss.
- AmeriCorps Seniors ($30 million) provided vaccinations, vaccine education, and summer learning loss and enrichment programs for the nation’s students, as well as funded nearly 5,000 opportunities for older adults to serve.
AmeriCorps will be investing the remainder of funds into the agency workforce, the Volunteer Generation Fund which increases access to volunteerism, and the National Service Trust which provides education benefits to AmeriCorps members and alumni.
AmeriCorps will continue to invest the American Rescue Plan funds in programs, as well as current and new nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations looking to use national service to meet local challenges through 2024. More on AmeriCorps’ implementation updates.