Stimulus funds making their way to Douglas County businesses in need

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 7:24 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Help is on the way for dozens of small, locally-owned bars, restaurants, and other food-service establishments.

Douglas County officials on Thursday announced 62 businesses will soon receive stimulus support, with more support to get food directly to people who need help.

At the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, workers continue to help families with much-needed food so they can make ends meet. But officials there say traffic has slowed a bit.

“Fortunately, with the stimulus, we’re seeing a little bit of a dip. We feel people are actually getting the food they need themselves,” pantry manager Gillian Cromwell said. “We usually see kind of cycle that happens every month — begining of the month, we see a little bit less  need when folks have their SNAP benefits.”

Commissioner James Cavanaugh, chairman of the Douglas County Health and Human Services Committee, said Thursday that the county will continue to provide funds for those in need.

“Just since the first of the year, we’ve dedicated $2 million in Douglas County General Fund money to area food banks,” he said. “In addition, we’ve dedicated another $500,000 to area food services. As you heard today, we have another $2 million going to small food services in our community.”

Cavanaugh said that right now, he doesn’t know how much, but money from the next round of aid from the federal government will be used to help food banks, food services, rental assistance, and other programs to help people get through the pandemic.

Back at the pantry, officials there say that so far, they haven’t run out of food — but they can always use more help.

“We always kind of run by the skin of our teeth,” Cromwell said. “We’re so fortunate, so blessed, that things kind of work out the way it should.”

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