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MEMA: Nonprofits, public agencies can recoup pandemic expenses

  • —AP FILE PHOTO/STEVEN SENNE



Staff Writer
Monday, December 13, 2021

NORTHAMPTON — The state’s emergency management agency is calling on nonprofits and government agencies to apply for reimbursement for their COVID-19 response expenses over the past two years.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, or MEMA, is encouraging nonprofits and public agencies like senior centers to apply for 100% reimbursement of all eligible COVID-19 response expenses they incur from Jan. 21, 2020, to April 1, 2022. The money is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Public Assistance Program” that reimburses organizations for certain costs after disasters.

MEMA is holding two webinars — one on Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. and another on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. — for organizations seeking more information about applying for reimbursement.

In an email, MEMA spokesman Christopher Besse said that while applicants for funding will be assessed for eligibility under the FEMA program guidelines, generally speaking nonprofits that are eligible include those that provide “critical services” like education, utilities, medical and emergency services.

Besse said that nonprofits that provide “non-critical essential services” are also eligible. Some of those services include food assistance, health and safety services, homeless shelters, houses of worship, museums, residential programs, senior centers, zoos and the performing arts.

Organizations like museums, zoos, houses of worship, assisted living facilities and community centers are newly eligible for assistance, Besse noted.

Costs that are eligible for reimbursement include the purchase of face masks, cleaning supplies and COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Other purchases eligible for reimbursement include temperature-scanning devices, temporary physical barriers like plexiglass, and signs communicating warnings about COVID-19, such as floor decals expressing support for social distancing.

Registration for the informational webinars can be found at: https://bit.ly/MEMAwebinars. Recordings of the events will also be available on MEMA’s website.