DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A $1.1 million pot of money, the Dallas Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, comes with a catch.

It can only be spent during a federally declared disaster.

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With the entire state in the midst of one, the first distributions aimed at assisting the COVID-19 recovery were announced Wednesday.

Eleven nonprofits will receive $25,000 each.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the funding,” said Teresa Jackson, the founder and CEO of Sharing Life Community Outreach, one of the recipients.

The organization’s food pantry has always stayed busy, but when the pandemic hit, the number of people seeking help more than doubled.

“It’s crazy. When we arrive, people are lined up,” said Jackson. “Upwards of 600 families… frequently, every day, 5 days a week.”

The nonprofit provides them all with healthy food to take home.

“…meat, milk, eggs, cheese, and lots and lots of fresh food and vegetables,” said Jackson.

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The crowds peaked, she says, peaked in April.

“That was before some of the money from the government- the unemployment benefits, the stimulus money had been sent out to people. They were showing up in huge, huge numbers.”

When stimulus checks went out, things calmed slightly.

With the disappearance this month of a weekly $600 federal unemployment benefit, the need is once again growing.

“The numbers are going back up already in this first week of August and we think that’s because the money was immediately missed,” said Jackson.

Mayor Eric Johnson said he expects the Dallas Foundation, which manages the fund, will be looking for other ways to the money can be used to help, as the pandemic stretches on.

“These organizations are providing much needed services as Dallas families recover and rebuild from this devastating pandemic. Their work is critical.” said Mayor Johnson.

Donations to the Dallas Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund can be made here.

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The following nonprofits are receiving a grant:

  • Bachman Lake Together
  • Crossroads Community Services
  • Sharing Life Community Outreach
  • Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Educational First Steps
  • Family Gateway
  • For Oak Cliff
  • Interfaith Family Services
  • Mosaic Family Services
  • Paul Quinn College
  • Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation