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story.lead_photo.caption United Way of Central Missouri

The United Way of Central Missouri announced Tuesday it had opened up its COVID-19 Response Fund for grant applications.

The organization has made $150,000 available for health and human service agencies that meet eligibility requirements and work in all or part of its service area. The local United Way serves Camden, Cole, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Phelps and southern Callaway counties.

The one-time grants (the COVID Response and Recovery Grants) are intended to address challenges to new or existing programs that occur because of the pandemic.

The United Way established the fund in March, according to Ann Bax, president of the local organization.

When the United Way began the fund, it closed the Disaster Recovery Fund, set up after a May 22, 2019, tornado struck Central Missouri.

"We hadn't gotten anything for the disaster fund for some time," Bax said. "We closed it down and started this one."

The new fund has raised a little more than $166,000, she said.

The United Way, she said, has already distributed $16,000 from the fund — $10,000 to the Salvation Army to help clients with utilities, mortgage and rent assistance; $5,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City, to pay for partitions that keep children in smaller groups; and $1,000 for child care providers for cleaning supplies.

"Our executive team awarded those early grants," Bax said.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. July 10.

Applications may be found at

"The Strategic Funding Committee has a rigorous process," Bax said. "We will turn those (applications) around in a couple of weeks."

For questions regarding the online application, contact Theresa Verslues at [email protected] or at 573-636-4100.

To contribute to the fund, go to

"With this particular disaster, nobody knows what the future's going to look like," Bax said. "That fund is still out there."

If more money comes in, the United Way will make it available for more grants, she said.

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