More than a quarter of the population in Patagonia, Arizona, near our Hermosa project, is over 65. Many are served by the non-profit Senior Citizens of Patagonia (SCP), which provides critical food and transportation services to more than 200 people. SCP received a South32 Hermosa Community Fund grant in late 2019.

Most of the US$10,000 grant was earmarked for purchasing a van to transport seniors to medical appointments. Then came COVID-19. Transport demand plummeted while the pandemic derailed fundraisers. Stories like this led to an agreement that Community Fund grantees could reallocate their special-project grants toward operational expenses. 

“[Our] programs have been severely impacted,” said SCP Secretary/Treasurer Charles Kelly.

“We are no longer able to provide to our clients dining facilities within the Patagonia Senior Centre. We must meet each one at the door, where Monday through Friday we provide them with a hot take-out meal, salad, milk and fruit. We also provide frozen meals for those requiring them on the weekends. This necessitates extra expenses. We are grateful to the South32 Hermosa Community Fund to help us meet these costs.” 

“Communities depend on the nonprofit sector for vital programs and services,” said Hermosa project President Pat Risner.

“It’s clear the focus has to be on the day-to-day, helping them reach the other side of a crisis.”