State announces two new pandemic-related grant programs

State officials on Wednesday announced two new pandemic-related grant programs to help with the food supply chain and individuals with disabilities.

Both programs, totaling $8.9 million, will be funded with federal CARES Act dollars.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced that $4 million is being allocated to the Indiana Meat Processing Expansion & Development Grant Program to help improve food supply chain resilience.

The grants will be up to $150,000 and will have to be matched by 50%. The grants can cover eligible expenses incurred from March 1 through Dec. 30 related to employee safety, such as personal protective equipment, or from increasing capacity.

Businesses with 500 employees or less that have at least one federal or state regulated livestock processing or slaughter facility in Indiana are eligible to apply. Applications will be available starting Monday at isda.in.gov.

Crouch also announced plans to distribute $4.9 million to the Community Connections for People with Disabilities Grant, which is designed to help local governments partner with community agencies to address the negative impact the pandemic has had on Hoosiers with disabilities.

The grants will be up to $200,00 and are expected to fund projects focused on internet access, technology equity, social isolation and lost access to a support network.

Applications for that program will be available Oct. 23 at in.gov/OCRA.

The state received $2.4 billion in CARES Act funding, and still has about $1 billion remaining as Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration has been hopeful that Congress would amend the restrictions regarding how and when the dollars can be spent.

The funding must be spent by the end of the year, under the existing guidelines.

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