MOUNT VERNON — A reminder of the emergency food voucher distribution with Jobs and Family Services was shared with the Knox County Board of Commissioners when they met Monday morning with Knox County JFS Director Matthew Kurtz. The vouchers are for perishable food items and are for those who suffered a loss of food items with the loss of electricity following the windstorm on June 29.
The distribution is taking place today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Salvation Army. To qualify, applicants must have minor children in the house, be over 55 years old or be receiving disability payments. “It’s fairly generous,” said Kurtz, reminding applicants that the program is not an automatic $1,500. “People can be eligible for up to $1,500. It’s just a one-time event which should be a better way of getting out some assistance broadly,” he said.
Kurtz also reported that the performance of the RoboCall automated calling service used Monday morning following last week’s windstorm was very disappointing. The RoboCall system is designed to place a recorded phone call to all county employees informing them of whether they should report to work or not. After taking what he said was an excessively long time to call all employees, Kurtz turned the system off when he arrived at work that morning.
A better system of notifying employees during an emergency situation may be pursued. Kurtz said that he has a text notification system through GoogleVoice which can send out text messages to large groups of people very quickly. He is to check into the possibility of utilizing this service in the future.