Sen. Coons seeks more avenues for national service opportunities
Sen. Chris Coons applauded a $40 million dollar increase for AmeriCorps included in the latest COVID federal relief bill in December as step toward expanding national service efforts.
Coons says national service efforts are especially importamt during the pandemic, pointing to examples like the National Health Corps, which is expanding to Delaware with some of New Castle County’s CARES Act funding.
That one-year pilot program will bring 20 AmeriCorps members to the state to serve at health care and related non-profit organizations focusing on the COVID response, including vaccine programs.
And Coons sees opportunity to create similar efforts that address other issues, such as the lines at food banks which Delaware saw earlier last week.
“There is an existing Department of Agriculture Hunger Corp that could be an opportunity for national service for Americans looking to spend a year of their lives serving our country,” Coons said.
And Coons wants to see more done to foster a national service response to the pandemic-related issues and others.
“I am optimistic that we can find a bipartisan path forward to expand the number of opportunities for people to serve our country and to address urgent needs in public health, in education, in fighting hunger, and in conservation,” Coons said.
Coons is optimistic a bipartisan path can be found to expand service opportunities. He and a bipartisan group of senators introduced The Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service (CORPS) Act last June. That would double the number of AmeriCorps positions to 150,000 and provide 600,000 service opportunities nationwide over the next three years to unemployed youth.
Coons also praises President Biden’s executive order to expand conservation corps around the country.