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Additional Community Grants Awarded in Jerome and Idaho Falls

Community Challenge graphic

In addition to the three original recipients, AARP Idaho has announced another three Gem State organizations will receive 2020 Community Challenge grants. Grantees will implement “quick-action” projects to create more livable communities across Idaho. To date AARP Idaho has awarded more than $63,000 across the state to help make communities more livable for people of all ages.

“During this time of uncertainty, it is important to support the nonprofit organizations in the state.  These organizations provide a vital service to the community and people in need, and we are happy to support their efforts,” said AARP state director Lupe Wissel. 

The additional Idaho projects include:

Regional Council for Christian Ministry Inc. - $5,230

The grant lowers the barriers to access for local gardening by establishing a seed and tool library to help community members start and maintain their own gardens. This also includes purchasing chairs and shade umbrellas.

Jerome County Senior Citizens Service Area Inc. - $5,500

The project will help provide access to food as older community members are facing challenges obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables due to the pandemic. These items will strengthen the selection the community center offers while supporting local business.

Idaho Falls Humanitarian Center - $5000

The center provides a place for older and developmentally disabled adults to come and serve as they volunteer to help in the manufacturing of needed items. The grant will help purchase quilt batting, fleece for weighted blankets and hygiene kit items to provide to needing community members.

“Food prices are continually rising and with this grant we can continue to serve the seniors in our community and be able to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Sheila Harmon, Jerome Senior Center site manager. “We are like family here and everyone has been so happy and grateful to be back at the center.”

“The Idaho Falls Area Humanitarian Center is thrilled to be selected to receive a grant from AARP. During these challenging times, this will help make it possible to make warm quilts for the upcoming winter, purchase fleece fabric that will be used to make weighted blankets for autistic children and distribute thousands of hygiene kits to those in need,” said Betty Wood, assistant director at the Idaho Falls Humanitarian Center.

These new grants are in addition to previously announced recipients including:

City of Cascade - $10,000

The Strand Trail Paving Project will pave nearly ½ mile of trail near Kelly’s Whitewater Park creating an access point for older resident and those with physical disabilities looking for level pavement to recreate on.

City of Glenns Ferry - $28,000

A new park near the historical museum in town will include handicap accessible swings, infant swings and swings for adults and children creating a multigenerational area for citizens to recreate. There will also be other improvements including new mulch bedding, a metal carport, picnic table, and resurfaced court surface for basketball, hopscotch, etc.

Gooding Public Library Foundation -$10,000

An outdoor community commons area will be created outside the library, city hall, and police station green space. This grant will help draw library patrons and the senior center residents outside by creating an inviting place to read and hold library programs. This includes two uncovered picnic tables and two covered picnic tables. All four will be handicapped accessible.

All projects are expected to be completed by December 18, 2020, and are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.
  • Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.
  • Increase civic engagement and demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by bringing together local leaders and residents from all backgrounds to address challenges.
  • Support coronavirus response and recovery efforts by ensuring older adults’ access to information, essential services, and civic life.

The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at and view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP Idaho’s livable communities work at

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