Dumfries-based nonprofit ACTS launched an app called Prince William Food Rescue in August 2019 offering volunteers an opportunity to pick up donated food and deliver it to a food pantry.

On Friday, ACTS announced they’ve expanded the app’s capabilities as they’re trying to keep up with an increased need for home food deliveries with the coronavirus keeping people home.

Now, volunteers can help by picking up donated food and delivering it to people who are at least 70 years old or to people with a disability that limits their mobility. 

“On Monday, we saw a critical need for home delivery drivers,” Shirley Couteau, the nonprofit’s volunteer coordinator, told InsideNoVa on Friday.

The app’s expanded use definitely helps Couteau, she said. 

“That way the food is not thrown away,” she said. “We’re taking good viable food for people who need it right now.” 

This week, the nonprofit has seen 109 new users sign up on its app, Prince William Food Rescue, and 34 people have expressed interest in volunteering for the first time with the nonprofit, Couteau said. 

Couteau said the response to the pandemic makes the situation unique compared to other disasters. “People are home who aren’t typically home,” she said. 

The nonprofit is not currently in need of any more volunteers for its Seniors Link serivce, but she wants to spread the word about it so people can sign up. Seniors Link is a social call of 5 to 10 minutes, which can include a check in, referral to services or medication reminder, from a nonprofit volunteer. For more information, visit https://www.actspwc.org/

“We’re still up and running, it’s just a lot of it is not in person,” Couteau said, referring to ACTS moving some services over the phone only — volunteers can volunteer and practice social distancing at the same time.

Nonprofits in Northern Virginia are reacting as residents and businesses are dealing with the impacts of a statewide public health emergency. 

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has raised $270,000 to date for its newly-created COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia. Eileen Ellsworth, the foundation’s president and CEO, announced Friday the five nonprofits who are receiving a combined $100,000 as part of the first round of grants. Ellsworth said in an email that they are currently working on identifying the organizations that will receive funding in the second round of grants. 

The first round of grants were awarded as follows: $25,000 to Northern Virginia Family Service; $20,000 to ACTS; $20,000 to Loudoun Hunger Relief; $20,000 for Food for Others; and $15,000 for Cornerstone, according to the foundation. The foundation is still accepting financial donations to the COVID-19-response fund. 

On Wednesday, the foundation was one of four local community foundations to receive a $1 million total donation from Amazon.

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