The El Paso Community Card Program issued pre-paid Mastercard® debit cards to qualifying low-income applicants severely impacted by COVID-19, including those who lost their jobs, were ineligible for layoff benefits, or had someone in their family test positive for COVID-19.
The El Paso Community Foundation (EPCF) then used Transcard’s platform to code pre-paid debit cards for qualified residents. The cards were dispersed from EPCF’s offices and recipients could use them like any other debit card without any additional effort on their part.
More than 500 families in the region were assisted as part of the program. The program has helped, among other things, put food on a family’s table for a few months. At the height of the program, EPCF sent 50 cards per week to qualified individuals.
The card program can help improve the quality of life of all types of individuals in the El Paso region. EPCF is exploring opportunities to expand the use of the card program to include bus transportation, libraries, museums, and other services.
The primary objective was to help those who were having trouble paying for groceries, medication, and other basic needs because of the pandemic, in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation and Project Bravo.
“This was a period of time when people were living on the edge,” said EPCF President and CEO Eric Pearson.
“Transcard helped us quickly respond to this desperate need in a way that was open and non-judgmental. The cards could be in a recipient’s hands and activated quickly so they could have the dignity of going to the store and getting the groceries and prescriptions that they needed, without anything looking out of the ordinary. The pre-paid debit cards gave a lot of heart to the program.”
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