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LeeCARES logo. Photo via WINK News

LeeCARES programs extended

Good news for those still struggling to make ends meet because of the pandemic: LeeCARES programs have been extended.

The county will start accepting applications, online only, starting Monday, Oct. 19

LeeCARES programs have been extended to assist residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including new rounds of utility payment assistance, expanded childcare assistance and more funding for area food banks.

The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday approved program extensions to include:

  • Three new rounds of utility assistance in October, November and December to pay up to $1,000 in water and electric bills for eligible applicants during each round. Assistance may be provided regardless of whether the applicant has received previous utility assistance. LeeCARES provided water/sewer and electric bill payment assistance through nearly 10,000 applications made between May and September.
  • Increased funding for LeeCARES Childcare Assistance to $3.6 million because Lee County School District programs for after-school care have been added to the eligible program list. The assistance program, administered by United Way of Lee County, Inc., already has committed $2 million in childcare scholarships.
  • An additional $1.7 million of funding to existing contracts with Harry Chapin, Midwest Food Bank and Community Cooperative. LeeCARES committed over $2.5 million for food security through September.

The LeeCARES programs are funded through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund through the $150 billion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). Lee County received $134,459,744.

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