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Rhode Island has been awarded federal funding for its emergency food and shelter programs that serve the hungry and homeless.

The state's congressional delegation announced the award of about $475,000.

The funding is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

The program supports local social service agencies that offer food, housing and utility assistance for those in need.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, says the funding will help families in crisis put food on the table and keep the lights on.

Local jurisdictions qualify for the funding based on unemployment and poverty levels and population.

Providence County is being awarded about $365,000.

The remaining funding will go to a committee that could award money to other communities throughout the state.

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