North Carolina has received approval from the USDA to initiate a new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. This program will assist families who have been impacted by school closings, due to COVID-19, in purchasing food for their children.
Those who are eligible include:
- School age children who currently receive free or reduced lunch;
- Children receiving Food and Nutrition Services benefits; and
- Non-FNS households.
Granville County’s Department of Social Services advise that P-EBT benefits will be issued from the Department of Public Instruction this week (week of April 27, 2020) for Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) households and the week of May 4, 2020 for non-FNS households. This new program is in addition to other services that families may already be participating in.
There is no application process to receive P-EBT benefits. For those already receiving FNS services, benefits will be automatically placed on the family’s EBT card. Non-FNS households will receive an explanatory letter in the mail from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and will be issued a new P-EBT card, which will be a plain white card with either the parents’ names or the child’s name. The back of the card will display EBT information. These cards will be useable for 365 days.
Families will be able to use the P-EBT card to purchase food items at EBT-authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores, and are encouraged to continue utilizing feeding programs and local school and community sites. To find local meal sites, participants can text FOODNC to 877-877. The service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.
For more information, program participants may call the EBT call center at 1-888-622-7328, download the ebtEDGE mobile app at www.ebtedgemobile.com, or go to DHHS website at https://www.ncdhhs.gov.
To visit the home page for the Granville County Department of Social Services, please click here. To view other economic assistance programs available through the Granville County Department of Social Services during COVID-19, please click here.
The Granville County Department of Social Services advises that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will be issuing a one-time supplement payment for all households previously approved for Low Income Energy Assistance (LIEAP) benefits during the 2019-2020 application period. The supplement amounts will be based on household size and approved LIEAP benefit amounts and will be paid directly to the household’s primary heating vendor.
The one-time supplements are scheduled to be issued by NC Fast on the night of May 11, 2020. A notice will be mailed to households informing them of the supplement payments.
Granville County Government introduces two new Human Resources professionals, who have joined its administrative team.
Angela Miles began her new role as Human Resources Director on March 16, coming to Granville County Government by way of Vance County Public Schools’ Human Resources Department, where she served as Assistant Director. An East Carolina University graduate, Miles earned her degree in Business Management and was a Computer Specialist with the Department of the Navy for two years before joining Vance County Public Schools in 1994. She is married and currently resides in Henderson. She and her husband have two adult children.
Barbara Burwell is Granville County’s new Human Resources Specialist. Burwell was also employed by Vance County Public Schools, where she worked for the past four years as Administrative Assistant/Human Resources Specialist. Her prior experience includes a 15-year career with Granville County Public Schools. A Granville County native and a graduate of J.F. Webb High School, Burwell is working towards her degree in Business Administration from Liberty University. She is married and has four daughters and five grandchildren.
Together, Miles and Burwell will be responsible for all aspects of personnel management, administering all County-sponsored employee benefits for a workforce of more than 300 staff members. They will also oversee Worker’s Compensation, ensure that the County is in compliance with all applicable Federal and State labor laws, and act as the primary source of information pertaining to payroll deductions, retirement, disability, etc. for employees and retirees.
Offices of the Human Resources Department are located at 141 Williamsboro Street in Oxford.
The annual Spring Recycle and Collection event, originally scheduled for April 25, has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 16 at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center. Hours are from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., with vendors on site offering document shredding services; the collection of electronics, scrap metal, hardback books and other items; and proper disposal of medications, sharps, inhalers, flares, ammunition and fireworks. Polystyrene/styrofoam – not including packing peanuts – will also be collected during this event, as well as pet supplies for the Granville County Humane Society.
“The spring recycle and collection event gives residents an opportunity to protect our environment while spring cleaning,” said Granville County Recycling Coordinator Teresa Baker. “Shred Ace, GFL, the Granville County Sheriff’s Office, the Humane Society and other vendors and organizations will be on site and ready to take unwanted items for recycling, shredding, re-purposing or proper disposal.”
To encourage backyard composting – another way to recycle by turning organic materials into soil nutrients – compost bins and countertop caddies will be available for sale during this event.
The Granville County Expo Center is located at 4185 U.S. Hwy. 15 South in Oxford. For more information about this event, contact Baker at 919-725-1417 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A community challenge has been initiated to show support for local heroes while bringing residents and businesses together all across the county. The “Little Light Challenge” is a project of the Granville Tourism Development Authority (TDA) and the Downtown Oxford Economic Development Corporation (DOEDC), serving as a visible way to thank the many essential workers on the “front lines” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each Monday at 8 p.m., participants are asked to leave lighted luminaries, outdoor candles, porch lights and/or strings of Christmas lights outside their homes and businesses in honor of the local doctors, nurses, public health professionals, pharmacists, drug store employees, first responders, law enforcement officers, 9-1-1 operators, social workers, teachers, grocery store employees, truck drivers, farmers, trash collectors, plumbers, electricians, construction crews, government workers, nonprofit organizations, news reporters, assembly workers and many others working from the front lines on our behalf.
At the same time, local radio stations will air the song “This Little Light of Mine” to bring attention to these local heroes. Tune in to US 98.3 FM and WCBQ 1340 AM each Monday through May 25 for the song and a recorded message from our community leaders.
Those participating in the “Little Light Challenge” are asked to take photos to post on their social media pages, including a reference to the project through a hash tag mention. When posting pictures online, please add #littlelightchallenge to the posting, as well as #VisitGranvilleNC.
“We are grateful to our partners for their support,” said Tourism Director Angela Allen. “The hope is that we continue to rise to the occasion to support our community, doing our best to stay together while staying apart.”
Partners include Granville County Government, the Town of Butner, the City of Creedmoor, the City of Oxford, the Town of Stem and the Town of Stovall, as well as participating radio stations.
For questions or for more information, please contact Allen at 919-693-6125 (email@example.com) or Mary Yount, Director of the DOEDC, at 919-603-1100 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Although Granville County libraries have temporarily closed their buildings to the public in the interest of community health and safety, they are open for business online, providing digital content and virtual services while finding new and innovative ways to continue serving our residents. This year’s theme, “find the library at your place,” brings attention to the many ways local libraries make a difference in the lives of our citizens while they are social distancing at home.
The Granville County Library System offers a wide array of services residents can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. On Mondays, families can enjoy Digital Story Time. “Pop in” every week for a digital version of the traditional children’s story time, available on YouTube, the library’s Facebook page or their website. Contact Children’s Librarian Amy Carlson at 919-693-1121 to find out more.
A Virtual Book Club is also offered for participants to stay sharp, entertained and connected while staying at home. Contact Andrew Maloney at the Richard H. Thornton Library at email@example.com for more details.
To gain access to an assortment of digital resources, temporary library cards are available through the online registration process. Services include e-books and audiobooks, as well as NC Live Database access from home while library buildings are closed to the public. To request a temporary library card, call the Richard H. Thornton branch in Oxford at 919-693-1121 or the South Branch in Creedmoor at 919-528-1752.
For students in middle and high schools, a photography contest is underway. Those interested in participating are invited to take photos of books, libraries, people reading –anything that they can think of that best represents their local library. Entries can be emailed to Amy Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 25 and will be posted to the library system’s Facebook page for viewer voting. Winning photographers will be awarded an Amazon gift card. Contact Amy Carlson at 919-693-1121 for more details.
And don’t forget to celebrate National Poetry Month with the library. Throughout the end of April, stay at home and enjoy new poems each day on Facebook and Instagram as the library brings them home to you. Contact Melanie Baldwin at email@example.com to learn more about this virtual celebration.
Today’s libraries bring people together, even when they have to stay apart. Visit https://granville.lib.nc.us/ to learn more about how Granville County public libraries in Oxford, Creedmoor, Stovall and Berea continue to play a valuable role in our communities.
The Granville County Board of Commissioners will meet on Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the Granville Expo and Convention Center, located at 4185 Highway 15 South in Oxford, to conduct the regular business of the county. In order to adhere to the COVID-19 restrictions, a call-in option is being provided for the public. The public can listen to the meeting by dialing 888-788-0099 (US Toll Free) and entering meeting ID number 934-5491-3517 and password 675161. Public comments will be accepted in written format and must be received by Monday, April 20 at noon (12 p.m.). Please send comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to PO Box 906, Oxford, NC 27565.
Additional call-in numbers: dial by your location
1-877-853-5247 (US Toll Free)
ID number 934-5491-3517
Debra A. Weary
Clerk to the Granville County Board of Commissioners
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that over 70 million households have responded to the 2020 Census, representing more than 48 percent of all households in America. Across the state, 45.1 percent of North Carolina households have participated, with 38.6 percent of the total responses being online. Closer to home, Granville County has a 47.2 percent response rate. Online responses for Granville are reported to be at 37.9 percent.
July 31, 2020 was the original deadline for self-response, which – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – had been extended to Aug. 14. In order to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau is now seeking statutory relief from Congress of 120 additional calendar days to deliver final counts. Under this plan, the Census Bureau would extend the window for field data collection and self-response to Oct. 31, 2020, which will allow apportionment counts to be delivered to the President by April 30, 2021, and redistricting data to be delivered to the states no later than July 31, 2021.
“Granville County is ahead of the statewide average, but we encourage all Granville County residents to participate in this survey as soon as possible, ahead of the deadline,” said David Smith, Chairman of the Granville County Board of Commissioners. “It’s easy to respond and it’s important, as decisions made for the next ten years will be based on the results of the 2020 Census.”
This is the first year that online responses have been made available. Other options include participating by phone or by mail. Surveys ask that residents living in each household be counted as of April 1, 2020 (Census Day). This ensures that each person is counted only once, in one place, and at one point in time. Invitations to participate were sent out in early March.
Those who have not yet responded online or by phone will receive a paper questionnaire to complete, which should be arriving in the mail this week. Those receiving a paper questionnaire can still respond online or by phone, or can return the survey by mail in an enclosed envelope. If responding online, participants are asked to use the Census ID number from the letter, or to provide their address.
In March, the Census Bureau had temporarily suspended field data collection activities. Steps are already being taken to reactivate field offices beginning June 1, 2020.
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every ten years. Data collected from the 2020 Census will determine how billions of dollars in public funds are allocated for public services and infrastructure such as health clinics, emergency services, schools, roads, bridges and other needs over the next decade. Census statistics are also used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“This is something we all can do while practicing social distancing,” Chairman Smith added. “Let’s make this a top priority so that we can be sure to get the funding we need.”
For more information, or to view and monitor response rates by state, county, city and district, please visit 2020census.gov.
The Granville Tourism Development Authority will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at 4 p.m. to discuss the remainder budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. This discussion will be held in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the meeting will be conducted remotely and will take place in a Zoom phone/video conference. The public is welcome to listen in, but participants should register with Tourism Director Angela Allen by April 13 to be given access. Allen can be contacted at 919-693-6125 or can be emailed at email@example.com.
The Granville County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension has announced new office hours, which went into effect April 1.. The Granville County Extension Center is now open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. This action is being taken due to policy changes through NC State University and the UNC Board of Governors that have been made due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“In keeping with the new work policies and mandates to utilize good social practices to slow the spread of COVID-19, NC Cooperative Extension employees are being encouraged to work at home and to limit contact in the office,” said Paul Westfall, Granville County Extension Director. “Those policy changes, combined with school closings and some families with members at a higher severity risk of COVID-19 should they contract the disease, have limited the people available to be in the office.”
The Granville County Cooperative Extension team is still available to work with clients and will continue to provide research-based information to farmers, families, and youth. “Look for a lot more use of electronic delivery methods, including webinars and use of social media,” Westfall said.
Extension Agents are available to make field visits, and will be using social distancing while working with clients. Field visits are especially critical for Agriculture, as crops will soon be planted and hay will soon be cut. Agents are aware of and will be using the precautions required to prevent transmission of COVID-19 while dealing with the public.
People should follow the recommendations of health professionals and follow all recommended practices to slow the spread of COVID-19. Check with NC Cooperative Extension Granville County, the Granville-Vance Health Department, or your health professional for information on COVID-19.