COVID-19 relief money is still available for local food pantries

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- The pandemic domino effect created a shortfall in family budgets. Over the past year, churches and small non-profit groups have tried to make up the difference, but it costs money. There is an extension of funding available for food pantries throughout Northeast Mississippi through the CREATE Foundation. Money left over from the original CARES Grant allows the pantries to be reimbursed for their help to the community. The Create Foundation and the United Way want to make sure the helpers receive help; whether it was in 2020 or 2021.

“With the create foundation we were able to go out and purchase frozen food and like I said foods that we normally don’t receive and so it was a great benefit and we so much enjoy being able to pack up that kind of food and give it to people and know that they’re going to take it home and make really good meals,” said Lowndes County Helping Hands director Nancy Guerry.

Guerry and the Lowndes County United Way executive director, Renee Sanders, felt that people won’t take the time to fill out the application.

“Applying for grants takes a lot of work it requires you to go back and find receipts it requires you to go back and do a lot of paper trail and a lot of people just don’t have the time for the paper trail so it’s not here’s the money. No here’s your opportunity to apply for the money,” said Sanders.

The CREATE Foundation has roughly $560,000 to put into food pantries and Sanders said that people don’t necessarily have to have a tangible pantry to apply.

“You can be a church that’s providing food as a service and you’re eligible for the grant,” said Sanders.

Anyone that distributed food to low-income or unemployed individuals can be compensated up to $12,000, and Sanders encourages anyone who thinks they’re eligible to reach out and apply so the money won’t go to waste.

“If we don’t get it as nonprofits so that it can be filtered back into our community what’s going to happen to the funding it’s going to go back to the government and then we’ll look around our community and wonder why is there no one to help us get food why is there no one helping us in these areas well that’s because we didn’t take the time out to apply for the loans to bring them to the community,” said Sanders.

The application deadline is open until January 15, 2022, to find out more information on how to apply click here.

Categories: Local News

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