Chelsea City Officials Pilot Rare Financial Relief Program For Residents

CHELSEA, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — City officials in Chelsea have developed a rare new financial relief program for families hit hard by the pandemic.

The $3 million program called "Chelsea Eats" is said to be the first of it's kind in the country. There is no cost to applicants, and it plans to give money directly to households in the city who are struggling with putting food on the table and paying bills.

City leaders say that families who have been approved for the relief will start receiving debit cards by the end of the month. They will receive between 200 to 300 dollars per month through March 2021.

"Preference will be given to families with children, disabled residents, veterans, seniors 65+, households who are ineligible for other forms of government assistance, and the most economically disadvantaged residents," according to the city's website.

The city put $1.5 million towards the program, with more contributions coming from United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and Mass General Hospital.

Chelsea has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic in the state because of it's densely populated neighborhoods. Over three thousand households applied for the financial relief program, but just over two thousand were selected to participate through a lottery system.

Officials have been running a food pantry in the city since the beginning of the pandemic, but the Boston Globe reports that it will be closing at the end of the month as the cold weather approaches. Other food pantries run by nonprofits in the area are not impacted.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports:

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