NEW YORK (AP) — Child-care centers, soup kitchens and a volunteer fire association are among the recipients of $5 million in Superstorm Sandy relief announced by the United Way of New York City.

The funds collected from donors after Sandy struck on Oct. 29 will go to communities in seven states — Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

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A total of $9.6 million will be distributed in three phases. The first $5 million was announced Monday.

United Way of New York City CEO Sheena Wright said that four months after Sandy struck, the organization’s focus is shifting from near-term to long-term needs.

“Now is where a much deeper and more intensive work begins,” she said.

Wright said funds will go to nonprofit organizations such as soup kitchens and mental health agencies that provide crucial services to people who were already struggling before the storm.

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Some $300,000 of the funds will go to New Yorkers for Children, a nonprofit that works with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services.

The agency’s commissioner, Ronald Richter, said the funds will be used to repair 12 child-care centers in areas including Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways that were damaged by Sandy.

Richter said 1,000 families use those centers and many of the children had to be relocated to facilities far from their homes after the storm hit.

“For children who are 2, 3, 4 year old the storm was really devastating,” he said. “Those kids rely on the stability of their child-care centers.”

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Other aid recipients include Staten Island’s Metropolitan Fire Association, which offers programs to train teens in firefighting and first aid, and Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties in New Jersey.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)