Promise Zone partners get $246,140 in grants

Federal grants target housing independence, food insecurity

PromiseZone_logo_80wTwo Promise Zone partners have won grants that total almost a quarter of a million dollars to help residents earn housing independence and be more economically secure, particularly in terms of having enough food for their families.

$156,411 housing grant focuses on independence

The S.C. Regional Housing Authority #3, a Promise Zone partner based in Barnwell, won a $156,411 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist agencies to hire or retain service coordinators to help residents achieve economic and housing independence.

“This grant will make a difference in people’s lives throughout the Promise Zone,” said the authority’s executive director, Robert Thomas.  “We look forward to deepening relationships with families in our service areas to help them create more economic independence.”

The Barnwell grant is funded through HUD’s Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency-Service Coordinators Program, which encourages local, innovative strategies that link public housing assistance with public and private resources to enable participating families to increase earned income; reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance; and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.

“We make an affirmative investment in families living in public housing to help them build a brighter future for themselves and their children,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro in a recent statement that announced nearly $32 million in grants across the country. “This funding allows our local partners to support residents’ goals and put them on the path toward self-sufficiency.”

$89,729 grant targets food insecurity

South Carolina’s office of the Center for Community and Economic Development United, Inc. (CCEDU), won a grant worth $89,729 from a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to serve the state’s Promise Zone counties to build the capacity of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and child nutrition programs to meet the needs of families.    The grant, part of $1.3 million in funding announced this month to reduce food insecurity in 17 rural communities, is through the agency’s  Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky.

According to CCEDU CEO Patricia McGill, the project aims to increase food distribution through improved coordination by identifying service gaps and developing a coordination plan using digital media.

“This grant will provide children living in persistently impoverished areas with a change to get nutritional assistance,” she said.  “We believe it will help close the food insecurity gap between Promise Zone communities and much of the rest of the state.”

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said earlier this month, “Children living in persistently poor rural areas tend to experience worse outcomes in terms of nutrition, activity, and obesity. Despite their critical role in our economy, too many Americans in rural areas are not sharing in our nation’s economic growth and, in turn, their children have also been disproportionately affected.”


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