Boone County launches grant portal to benefit those in needBoone County launches grant portal to benefit those in need

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COLUMBIA - FEMA delivered 100,000 face masks to the US Exercise Tiger Foundation (USTF) on Tenth and Walnut Streets Thursday.

The masks are the second of two FEMA shipments to the foundation. The foundation said FEMA has been a big help in its COVID relief efforts. The foundation contacted Governor Mike Parson's office about receiving CARES Act funds in order to directly purchase masks for veterans in Missouri, but it never heard back. When the directors followed up, they were redirected to FEMA and given the masks that arrived Thursday, along with another shipment in August.

Susan Haines, the national executive director of USTF, said “Our goal is to be able to reach at least the four hundred thousand veterans that reside in the state of Missouri. With that, we find ourselves saying that [the masks] come five to a pack that means that, you know, fifty thousand will take care of ten thousand veterans. So, that, do the math and you’ll realize how many masks that we’re needing in order to be able to reach that goal.”

On Tuesday, Boone County launched a grant application portal for those seeking or in need of COVID relief. This launch comes after the county received $21 million in federal CARES Act funds. Anyone is allowed to apply for and benefit from the grants listed including organizations like USTF.

Boone County District II Commissioner Janet Thompson said “But it’s not just public dollars, it’s public dollars in a time of crisis. And those public dollars can make a difference for someone’s life and that’s what I want to guarantee here in Boone County.”

If USTF applied for the grants on the newly-launched portal, then the foundation could receive federal CARES Act funds. These funds would be used to directly purchase and distribute masks to veterans throughout the state of Missouri.