FEMA Awards Funds to Massachusetts for COVID School Testing Costs

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BOSTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $64 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reimburse it for the cost of contracting to provide testing services in public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The $64,144,440 Public Assistance grant will reimburse the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services for the cost of contracting to provide testing at schools and in public buildings in surrounding communities between February 2021 and June 2022.
 
The contractor provided services which included operations and logistics of pooled testing, training, software, and technical assistance to school personnel.
 
The contractor also provided transportation for a total of 907,829 COVID-19 test specimens from approximately 2,400 public schools across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the laboratory for analysis.
 
"FEMA is pleased to be able to assist Massachusetts with these costs," said FEMA Region 1 Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich. "Reimbursing state, county, and municipal governments – as well as eligible non-profits and tribal entities – for the costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic is an important part of our nation's ongoing recovery."
 
FEMA's Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency.
 
So far, FEMA has provided more than $2.7 billion in Public Assistance grants to Massachusetts to reimburse the commonwealth for pandemic-related expenses.
 

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Second Chance Composting Comes to Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Second Chance Composting has recently brought their Residential Community Composting Program to Pittsfield.  
 
Memberships are open and ongoing for the 9 South Atlantic Avenue drop off location.  The program runs continuously all year, through all 4 seasons.
 
Memberships start at $9.99 per month, offering unlimited drop off of household food scraps to the location each month.  Members save their food scraps at home, and at their convenience, bring them to 9 South Atlantic Avenue and drop their material into the tote.  Members can come as little or as often as needed each month.  Any and all food and food scraps are accepted, including meat, fish, dairy, bones, and shells.  There are also other membership pricing options available for those who wish to receive finished compost back.
 
In addition to the new Pittsfield location, Second Chance Composting currently has drop off locations in North Adams, Williamstown, and Adams, which have continuous and ongoing membership signups.
 
Second Chance Composting picks up the material every week and it is brought to their MassDEP certified facility in Cheshire to process the food scraps into compost, which is then distributed back to the community to grow more food, flowers, plants, and trees.
 
Those interested in learning more or signing up for a membership can do so by visiting www.secondchancecomposting.com
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