Gianforte Announces Federal Aid for School Virus Testing

More than $32 million in coronavirus aid will go towards COVID-19 screening and testing in Montana schools,$1.6 million will aid SNAP participants

By Associated Press
Greg Gianforte, then a U.S. congressman, in Kalispell in 2019. Beacon File Photo

HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Wednesday allocation of over $35 million in coronavirus relief dollars.

More than $32 million will go towards COVID-19 screening and testing in Montana schools.

Over $1.6 million will go towards an employment and training program that assists people supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program gain skills and workforce experience.

Gianforte said the funds will help SNAP recipients become self sufficient.

Currently, the program is only available in three Montana counties: Yellowstone, Missoula, and Lewis and Clark.

Gianforte also approved $1.2 million for a program that provides early intervention services for infants with significant developmental delays or disabilities.

The Montana public health department reported that enrollment in the program dropped by 48% during the coronavirus pandemic. Around 1,540 infants were served by the program in the 2020 fiscal year.

Over $300,000 will go to Montana’s Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act grant to provide training and technical support to teams responding to child abuse in the state.

“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment,” Gianforte said in a statement. “When that doesn’t occur, these funds ensure well-trained professionals are there to provide care, counseling, advocacy, and supports for the child.”