News Briefs

Posted 6/5/20

News briefs

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News Briefs

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Neighbor2Neighbor/VecinoAVecino starts GoFundMe

The Chatham Neighbor2Neighbor/VecinoAVecino Program has started a GoFundMe fundraiser for the neighbors who want to contribute monetarily and for those who want to continue to sustain the program.

The Chatham Neighbor2Neighbor program connects neighbors who have the resources and time with neighbors who are in need of help. This could be through buying and delivering groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies or by helping people pay their bills. Through the fundraiser, Abundance NC will be able to distribute these funds, equally, to the people in need.

The GoFundMe can be found at: gofundme.com/f/chatham-neighbor2neighbor-vecinoavecino. If you would like to apply to this program, the English version of the application can be found at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdVTIju-Q_B0DMdGQRsXBdMU49TXhYFBJ3mi2FyGGR6zaf8yg/viewform. The spanish version can be found at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfxwhZW-flD75JkMpOi0feFKypNSwFkI3ZKdvAHgIhBk_0PGA/viewform.

Chatham County to receive federal COVID-19 aid

Chatham County has been chosen to receive $11,827 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county and $27,682for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27. This law is meant to address the economic fallout of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

Currently, processes have commenced to award the funds to a national board, a group chaired by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and includes representatives from the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; The Salvation Army and The United Way Worldwide.

A local board, made up of local representatives of the organizations listed above, will determine how the funds awarded to Chatham County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must be private voluntary nonprofits or units of government; be eligible to receive federal funds; have an accounting system, practice nondiscrimination; have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs and if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Chatham County has distributed emergency food and shelter funds previously with The Salvation Army participating. This agency was responsible for providing over 80 families with emergency financial assistance.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for emergency food and shelter program funds must contact Jane Wrenn via email at jane.wrenn@uss.salvationarmy.org or by telephone at (919) 542-1593 for an application. The deadline for applications to be returned is 5 p.m. on June 18. Completed applications must be returned either by email at the above email address or by postal mail to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 752, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312. Applications received after the deadline of June 18 will not be eligible.

Carolina Meadows rallies to support neighbors

CHAPEL HILL — Residents at Carolina Meadows, a retirement community in Chapel Hill, have raised more than $59,000 for the Chatham Outreach Alliance (CORA) food pantry.

“Each spring, residents come together to support CORA (Chatham Outreach Alliance), our local food pantry in Chatham County,” said Bill Powers, resident organizer. “This year’s drive had an increased urgency due to many being out of jobs and facing hunger. Residents were eager to help and responded with heartfelt generously in the face of extreme need.”

Carolina Meadows’ fundraising efforts for CORA have raised more than $81,000 for CORA this year, an increase of more than $30,000 from 2019.

Many are relying on CORA’s emergency food for the first time, and demand for emergency services has increased dramatically by nearly 50 percent since the pandemic began.

“During this time of unmatched demand for food assistance, the strength and compassion of our community has been on full display,” said Rebecca Hankins, development and communications director for CORA. “Carolina Meadows is a wonderful example of our neighbors working together to build a community without hunger. Their support has a huge impact on CORA and the families we serve.”

For more information, please visit www.corafoodpantry.org or contact Rebecca Hankins at rebecca@corafoodpantry.org or 919-491-5896.

SNACK! food donations needed for CORA

PITTSBORO — CORA’s SNACK! program aims to increase the accessibility of nutritious meals throughout the summer to children facing food insecurity in Chatham County. In Chatham County, 50 percent of public school children receive free or low-cost meals through the federal school lunch program because their household income is at or near the poverty level. More than 4,300 school children in Chatham County will not have adequate replacements for these meals during the summer in 2020. This summer, CORA hopes to feed nearly 2,000 children, but will need a little help from the community.

Due to severe constraints in the food supply chain as a result of COVID-19, some of the foods CORA normally buys in bulk are not available. They need help with purchasing the following items and dropping them off between 9 a.m. and 1:30 pm Monday through Friday at 40 Camp Dr. on Pittsboro.

Items include 16-ounce peanut butter, Chef Boyardee products, fruit cups, single-serve oatmeal packets and canned vegetables. For more information please contact Rebecca Hankins at Rebecca@corafoodpantry.org or 919-491-5896.

Chatham farmers, ranchers can apply for financial assistance through USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

WASHINGTON — Agricultural producers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The application and a payment calculator are now available online, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff members are available via phone, fax and online tools to help producers complete applications.

“We know North Carolina producers are facing a tough time now, and we are making every effort to provide much needed support as quickly as possible,” said Eddie Woodhouse, state executive director for FSA in North Carolina. “FSA is available over the phone to walk you through the application process, whether it’s the first time you’ve worked with FSA, or if you know us quite well.”

Applications will be accepted through August 28. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion for vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

“We also want to remind producers that the program is structured to ensure the availability of funding for all eligible producers who apply,” Woodhouse said.

In order to do this, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain available.

Chatham producers of all eligible commodities will apply through the Chatham County FSA. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested after the application is filed. FSA has streamlined the sign-up process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed.

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. Also, on that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments. Producers in search of one-on-one support with the CFAP application process should call the Chatham County FSA Office at (919) 542-2244, Ext. 2.

Carolina Tiger Rescue welcomes 1-year-old coatimundi, Daisy

PITTSBORO — Carolina Tiger Rescue announced the arrival of its latest rescue, Daisy Coatimundi.

Daisy arrived on May 18, and is already adjusting to her new life at the GFAS-accredited sanctuary. She will spend four weeks in quarantine to receive necessary vaccinations, allow keepers to observe behavior and personality traits and ensure she’s healthy enough to be moved into her enclosure.

One-year-old Daisy was relinquished to Carolina Tiger Rescue by a private owner who never intended to keep her as a pet. After being contacted by the owner, the sanctuary agreed to give Daisy the forever home she deserves. Keepers are working with her daily to help her feel comfortable in her new surroundings. She loves receiving enrichment, which includes hunting bugs, fruit, vegetables, and meat hidden in boxes to encourage foraging-like behavior. This mimics what coatimundis would do in the wild to search for food.

“We are happy to welcome Daisy to the sanctuary,” said Kathryn Bertok, Assistant Director at Carolina Tiger Rescue. “She is a special coatimundi who deserves to live in an environment where she can be happy, healthy, and wild.”

Coatimundis are small, diurnal (active during the day) mammals native to South America, Central America, Mexico and the southwestern United States. They belong to the same family as raccoons and kinkajous, and have ringed tails that they use to keep troops of coatis together in tall vegetation. They are happy both in the trees and on the forest floor and play a significant role in their native ecosystems as both predator and prey to many different species.

Given their small size, many people think coatimundis would make interesting or exotic pets. Unfortunately, coatimundis are wild animals, no matter their surroundings. Lengthy claws and sharp teeth make it possible for them to inflict serious injury if provoked, and adequate captive environments are difficult for the average person to maintain. For these reasons, Carolina Tiger Rescue believes that wild animals like Daisy should never be kept as pets.

For more information about Daisy, please contact Louise Orr at (919) 219-2301 or louiseorr@carolinatigerrescue.org.

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