The Union Pacific Foundation Board is awarding $20,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for the Southern Colonias of Doña Ana County.

The Emergency Fund, which is spearheaded by former Gov. Bill Richardson and actors Edward James Olmos, Danny Trejo and George Lopez, offers cash assistance to individuals and families facing economic strains due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We are so thankful to Union Pacific for this grant as it will allow us to serve many more families who are struggling to get their basic needs met,” Richardson said in a statement. “The economic strain is still being felt in this hard-hit area and we want to continue to be a resource for residents during this long and difficult recovery.”

The fund offers applicants a one-time check for $150 to individuals or households without children and $300 for individuals or households with one or more children. Families may use cash assistance for groceries, medical bills, rent, utilities and other necessities.

The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico and the Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico are partners in the effort.

Those interested in donating

to the fund may visit

emergencyfund. Checks may be mailed to Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, 2600 El Paseo Road, Las Cruces, NM 88001. Indicate Southern Colonias of Doña Ana County Fund in the memo line.

The New Mexican

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