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BancorpSouth gives communities SNAP

TUPELO — BancorpSouth Inc. announced that BancorpSouth Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary, has funded 19 projects in 11 Mississippi towns since January in conjunction with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) by awarding $89,025 in Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grants.

SNAP is a rehabilitative program that provides grant funds to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications.

Tupelo, the headquarters of BancorpSouth, received nine grants and one grant was awarded in each of these Mississippi towns: Grenada, Summitt, Purvis, Macon, Hattiesburg, Mound Bayou, Bogue Chitto, Laurel, Columbia and McComb. In addition, two grants, totaling $4,610, were awarded in Louisiana — one in Shreveport and another in neighboring Bossier City.

While participating in these SNAP grants, BancorpSouth partnered with non-profit organizations already serving the special needs public. In the case of the nine SNAP grants provided in Tupelo, the bank teamed with Neighborhood Development Corp., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide safe and affordable housing to Tupelo residents. In all other SNAP grants awarded to Mississippi residents, BancorpSouth partnered with the University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies in Hattiesburg.

Those receiving SNAP grants are low-income residents who do not have other resources for making critical home repairs, said Peggy Woods, a Tupelo city employee with the Department of Development Services. Woods works closely with Neighborhood Development Corp. to disburse SNAP funds and she, too, has seen great demand for the program in Tupelo.

Woods said residents who have benefited from the program include the elderly, disabled, or those with special needs who have no wiggle room in their income for housing repairs.

In 2010, FHLB Dallas set aside $1.5 million for SNAP, a rehabilitation program available through FHLB Dallas member institutions, like BancorpSouth, that provides grant funds to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications. Each SNAP recipient is eligible to receive up to $5,000. If a participating member financial institution such as BancorpSouth contributes at least $350 toward costs associated with the rehabilitation, the homeowner is eligible to receive up to $7,000 in grant funds.

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