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After more than 30 years as a community cornerstone, Neighbors in Need of Services is landing a $26.7 million federal grant.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding the grant to support the NINOS Head Start project, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Brownsville, said in a press release.

The grant stems from the department’s discretionary funding for the 2024 fiscal year, which Gonzalez helped pass, the press release states.

“This funding will significantly enhance early childhood education services for South Texas families,” Gonzalez said. “It underscores our commitment to ensuring the developmental success of our young children. Families will now directly benefit from enhanced Head Start and Early Head Start services provided by NINOS.”

“We are grateful to Congressman Gonzalez for his continued support,” David Kowalski, NINOS’ executive director, said in the press release. “The funding awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services will enable us to continue providing Head Start and Early Head Start services to over 2,000 of the neediest families in Cameron and Willacy counties.”

“NINOS, Inc. has been a cornerstone in the community since August 1990, dedicated to supporting the growth and development of children and families,” the press release states. “The services provided by NINOS include educational programs, nutritional guidance, dental health services and special services tailored to children from birth through four years of age.”

NINOS’s mission aims at “creating a brighter future for the children and la familia,” the press release states. “They work to enhance the development of young children, promote healthy family functioning, provide for staff development and establish partners within the community.”