Tobacco funds awarded to local groups |

Tobacco funds awarded to local groups

Jill Lufrano

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s share of tobacco settlement money, while less than expected, will be enough to pay for several local programs to help low-income children and adults with prescriptions, healthy lifestyle education, homelessness and food.

The Task Force for the Fund for a Healthy Nevada awarded $2 million to state groups last week to pay for programs that prevent, reduce or treat the use of tobacco and improve health services for children and disabled people.

Although many new programs will not be funded, the task force was able to partially or fully fund requests that will directly aid children and adults in Douglas, Carson, Lyon and Storey counties.

Community Chest Inc., a nonprofit organization in Virginia City, was granted $41,000 to pay for a community nurse and an ongoing program for homeless youth training and technical assistance.

“We’re just real grateful we received any funds at all,” said Executive Director Shaun Griffin. “It was real right, for everybody.”

A request to fund the community nurse was cut by at least 20 percent, but will still allow the nurse to work in Storey and western Lyon county five days a month. The nurse administers immunizations and flu shots to children and adults, visits senior centers, helps with prevention work at the middle school and assists at the high school. She also makes home visits in Storey County to homebound residents who need special care.

The organization was awarded $22,750 to continue a program that addresses hunger and poverty needs in five Nevada communities, including Carson City, Winnemucca, Las Vegas and two communities in Reno.

Nevada Urban Indians received $36,800 from the settlement funds to pay for a new program to educate parents and children living on reservations in Washoe and Carson City counties.

The group will start the program this summer, tutoring children who attend summer camp, ages 7 to 18, about the dangers of smoking.

Nevada received a $38 million payment – $5 million less than projected – from the tobacco industry this year to cover its share of a settlement that ended cigarette litigation by states in 1998.

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