LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lee County commissioners vote to support local food banks, continue with COVID-19 recovery efforts

To the Editor:

The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a plan to allocate $3 million of federal funds from the CARES Act to support local food security organizations and to continue phasing in operations previously suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• The $3 million allocated to food security organizations benefitting citizens in need includes:

• $1.55 million to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida

• $425,000 to the Midwest Food Bank

• $225,000 to Community Cooperative

• $500,000 to Lee County food pantries through $5,000 individual grants

• $300,000 to reserves. In addition, programs utilizing funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act have resulted in:

• 13,871 applications started for Individual Assistance, which includes payments directly to utility companies, landlords and mortgage companies. 4,923 applications have been completed.

• 4,576 applications for the Business Relaunch Program

• More than 1,000 kits of Personal Protective Equipment, including masks, gloves and hand sanitizer set to go to businesses with fewer than 25 employees. This includes more than 250,000 masks, 500,000 gloves and more than 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer

• United Way partner agencies establishing childcare scholarship programs

 Visit LeeFLCares.com.

The Lee County Library System will open additional locations on June 15 and will begin operating at 50 percent capacity (ranches currently open, or opening June 15, do not include the Johann Fust Library).

Lee County Parks & Recreation has requested that youth sports leagues submit safety plans for resuming play; 31 plans have been submitted and approved to date. Practices are resuming this week.

 Registration for the remaining spots at summer camps re-opened Monday. All camps will be operated at a ratio of nine campers per one staff member.

 Recreation centers remain closed at this time; they will be used for summer camp, which begins June 15. All other parks facilities, sites and preserves are open. Pools are operating at reduced capacity for fitness only.

 For future updates and further information, visit leegov.com/covid-19.

Betsy Clayton, APR/CPRC

Communications Director

Lee County Government