Spring 2020 Newsletter: CAGI Offers Helping Hand in Response to Pandemic

On a cool and sunny Saturday afternoon on April 11, staff and volunteers from the Community Action Foster Grandparent Program wait on a truck to pull into the MLK Community Center parking lot loaded up with bags of produce and eggs from local farmers.

To support our foster-grandparents we partnered with Kheprw Institute‘s food cooperative the Community Controlled Food Initiative to provide 60 bags of produce from local farmers.

CAGI’s Foster Grandparents Program offers individuals aged 55 and older, opportunities to serve as mentors and tutors for children with special/exceptional needs or who are considered to be at risk.

Our dedicated volunteers and staff wore masks and gloves and gave out a bag of produce, a dozen eggs and a gift card as they drove through MLK’s parking lot. Though small, this gesture of support and care was an important way for us to show our appreciation to our seniors who contribute so much to our youth and community.

BIG thank you to Shelida Kerr, our foster grandparent program director who planned and coordinated everything, to MLK Community Center for letting us use your facility and Kheprw Institute for coming through with some beautiful produce!


“We do this to help the grandparents, our Seniors, leave their homes and get out into the community,” says Shelida Kerr, director of CAGI’s Foster Grandparent Program. “And we do this to help the children. So many children have needs of literacy. Some just need a hug. And the grandparents can give them what they need. Those children just love those grandparents.”

Foster Grandparents provide at least 15 hours of weekly service to non-profit community organizations such as schools, hospitals, day cares and homeless centers.

Grandparents must meet income eligibility guidelines and pass a physical and background check. Grandparents receive a small federal stipend, transportation cost reimbursement, paid sick and vacation leave, a daily lunch and countless hours of satisfaction from their labors of love.

The students typically range from 6 weeks to grade 12 and are given academic assistance under the direction of teachers, day care administrators, and are provided training and development of social skills.

CAGI volunteer Deidra Coleman gave out free beautiful cloth masks that she made herself!

The FGP director and volunteers assess each student’s initial level of academic and social development and devise a plan complete with goals and objectives to help increase the student’s capabilities in those areas.

Read how our program is “Bringing Children & Seniors Together”. For more information, please contact:

Shelida Kerr
Foster Grandparent Director
(317) 524-6860


CCFI is a community-supported project of Kheprw Institute that brings fresh food into our community by pooling resources once a month to buy in bulk from local farmers. Members pay $20/month ($15 for seniors and $7.50 for SNAP/EBT) and on the second Saturday of the month the produce is bagged up by volunteers and picked up by members. CCFI is currently looking to increase to twice a month. If you would like to sign up or learn more visit ccfi.kheprw.org.




The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of us and it is more important now than ever to support each other, our neighbors to make it out of this crisis stronger than before. Though our offices are currently closed our staff is still working to provide emergency assistance to residents of Central Indiana. For assistance please click the button below to fill out an online application and a staff member will be in touch with you soon. If you have questions you can call (317) 396-1800.