Wilson, whose Sixth District includes Gallia and Meigs, announced that the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have all posted that they are releasing funding to Ohio as specified by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Ohio will receive $4,297,456 in recovery funds for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, provided through a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant. Of that, the Sixth Congressional District will receive $308,019.
Gallia is scheduled to get $10,028 and Meigs, $9,997. Counties also receiving funds in the area are Athens, $21,119, and Lawrence, $17,700.
Homeland Security officials said these funds can be used for a broad range of services, including mass shelter, mass feeding, food distribution through food pantries and food banks, one-month assistance with rent, mortgage and utility payments to prevent evictions, and transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions.
The program’s objectives are to allocate funds to the neediest areas; to ensure fast response; to foster public-private sector partnerships; to ensure local decision-making; and to maintain minimal but accountable reporting.
“With families out of work, putting food on the table is tough,” Wilson said. “Food pantries and food banks are all seeing an increase in demand and this Recovery money will help meet a lot of need in our community.”
The program is governed by a national board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; United Jewish Communities; The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; The Salvation Army; and United Way of America. The board is chaired by a representative of FEMA.
To apply, additional money will be given to the organizations listed above. The national board will allocate these additional funds to local agencies through an established federal formula based on unemployment, population and poverty data.
Wilson also announced that Ohio will also receive $7.5 million for the Immunization Grant Program.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, this funding is for crucial health and human services programs that help to provide care for children and prevent disease.
“This will ensure that more families get the vaccines they need,” Wilson said.
The state will also receive $8,080,000 to clean up leaking underground storage tanks.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that these funds will create or retain significant numbers of jobs. Nationally, at least 1,600 sites will be cleaned up.
“These tanks can contaminate our drinking water,” Wilson said. “This money will not only help clean up health hazards but will create jobs at the same time. That’s a good investment.”