Food Bank of W.Mass receives grant to help Puerto Rico evacuees - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Food Bank of W.Mass receives grant to help Puerto Rico evacuees

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A federal deadline has come for Puerto Rican families who found refuge in mainland America.  

Housing assistance for evacuees is set to end on Wednesday for those who have not yet found a permanent address.

Amarylis De Leon came to western Massachusetts with her family to find refuge after much of her town was destroyed.
"I have nothing back there. I have no family or anything or where to go," she said. 
As the deadline for FEMA’s housing assistance drew to a close, she desperately searched for a place to call home.
"It’s been hard to find an apartment, a place to live. But thank god, FEMA gave us an extension till' March 20," De Leon said. 
But not everyone has been so lucky.
"In the hotel where i’m staying, there is a pregnant woman who hasn’t got an extension and she is high risk," De Leon said. 
Housing is only one of many concerns for families, but putting food on the table is often a daily stress.
The Food Bank of western Massachusetts received a $30,000 grant to help feed evacuees.
"$30,000 will allow us to access 90,000 meals. The resource centers are doing a really good job in supporting those families through a very difficult and traumatic time," said Christina Maxwell with the Food Bank of western Massachusetts. 
While the deadline has arrived, the state has pledged to help.
"The state of Massachusetts through MEMA and the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services has made sure no one is out on the street," said Betty Medina with Enlace de Familias. 
The road ahead for De Leon is still up in the air. She told Western Mass News her children’s education remains her focus.
The extension does not buy them much time, as those families will have until March 20 now to find permanent housing.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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