Williamson County uses $500K in coronavirus relief funds to benefit local food banks

Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Organizations working to keep families fed during the COVID-19 pandemic can soon receive some financial assistance from Williamson County.

County commissioners agreed this week to set aside $500,000 to support local food banks through their Wilco Forward Program, which they created using money from the federal CARES Act.

According to a news release, the county stated organizations that work as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and provide food and other services to people can apply to be reimbursed for increased expenses due to the pandemic. Depending on their need, the county reported the eligible nonprofits will get a one-time check of up to $50,000. The food banks will have until Dec. 11 to apply for funding.

The commissioners also approved an additional $406,000 to support the YMCA with its financial assistance for families, virtual learning program and staffing for childcare. 

Williamson County shared that the Wilco Forward Program also provided reimbursement checks to several other agencies this week. City governments received a total of nearly $1.1 million, while Emergency Services Districts got more than $85,300.

The county disbursed more than $1.6 million to help organizations like The Caring Place, the Round Rock Area Serving Center and the Salvation Army provide community assistance payments. That program helped 1,624 families, according to Williamson County.

Additionally, independent school districts, charter and private schools received a total of more than $9 million.

On Thursday Judge Bill Gravell announced that Williamson County moved to the “Red Phase” of its COVID-19 risk chart because of uncontrolled community spread of the virus. Under the “Red Phase,” people should stay home and avoid gatherings and continue to wear masks, social distance and wash hands. However, these are only guidelines and can be superseded by Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders.

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