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Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri is distributing $25,000 in grants to five parishes affected by fire, flooding and hunger.

Dan Lester, the organization's president, on Tuesday announced it is providing the money through the Charity and Mercy Grant Award.

Each of the five parishes is to receive $5,000, which must be used to respond to immediate needs.

The grant for St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Hermitage is to be used to assist with the housing needs of a family displaced by a house fire. The church will work in conjunction with other area churches, businesses, nonprofit organizations and faith-based groups to help the family enter a "safe, clean and comfortable" home.

A grant for Lake Area Helping Hands Homeless Shelter in Camdenton will help provide shelter to homeless men, women and children — giving them a "hand up, not a handout."

Good Shepherd Center in Linn will use its grant to help feed more than 500 clients served monthly in Osage County.

St. Joseph School in Westphalia is to purchase materials and equipment that will allow students to create blankets for children and adults. The blankets are to be distributed by local nonprofit organizations.

St. Brendan Society of St. Vincent De Paul, in Mexico, is to buy supplies for the Beds for Kids program, which gives bedding to children and families in need in the local community.

The Diocese of Jefferson City includes 38 counties, 95 parishes and about 82,000 Catholics in central and northeast Missouri. Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri is committed to providing care and creating hope for the lives of vulnerable people through social services that respect people's dignity and engage local communities, according to the announcement.

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