United Way of Roanoke Valley is among the agencies getting help with COVID-19 relief efforts from the American Electric Power Foundation.

The foundation is donating $288,000 to agencies providing COVID-19 relief efforts across Appalachian Power’s Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee service area. The gift is part of an overall $1.5 million coronavirus relief donation from the AEP Foundation.

“These are challenging and uncertain times for all of us,” Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO, said in a news release. “With the foundation’s help, we’re able to partner with agencies in our communities to identify and reach our customers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.”

United Way chapters, many of whom have established community response funds related to the virus, will receive $204,000. Food banks and feeding centers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, as well as the American Red Cross, will receive $84,000.

The AEP Foundation is funded by AEP and its utilities, including Appalachian Power.

“These are the organizations that provide a safety net for our neighbors in need,” Beam said. “We work closely with them on a regular basis, so we know how important it is that they are able to continue and even increase their services during this emergency.”

Appalachian Power, which has 1 million customers in the three-state area, recently announced it is temporarily suspending disconnects due to non-payment.

Customers with difficulty making payment or with questions are asked to contact Appalachian Power. The number for Appalachian Power’s customer solutions center can be found on the bill or on the company’s website, www.AppalachianPower.com.

Among the other organizations receiving COVID-19 funding are United Way of the New River Valley, United Way of Southwest Virginia, Ferrum Elementary Backpack Program/Panther Packs and the Patrick County Food Bank.

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