NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The United Way of New York City announced Monday that an additional $5 million has been added to the organization’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund.

The grant, from Lilly Endowment Inc., will be used by local United Ways in areas affected by the storm to help with long-term recovery needs, according to the charitable group.

“Hurricane Sandy upended the lives of over eight million people and the road to recovery will be long,” said United Way of New York City president and CEO Sheena Wright. “Lilly Endowment’s support will play a major role in helping people rebuild their lives by connecting families to financial benefits, providing access to mental health and trauma-related services, as well as addressing their ongoing basic needs, such as food and utilities assistance.”

The funds will go to organizations including child-care centers, soup kitchens and a volunteer fire association.

The donations collected 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.

“We know that residents of communities devastated by disasters such as Hurricane Sandy must have access to a viable and effective human service system to help them rebuild their lives. As local United Ways do in disasters throughout the country, the local United Ways in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy are mobilizing resources to support recovery efforts and services. Lilly Endowment is pleased to be able to add to the support being generated by United Way Worldwide and the United Way of New York City for the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund,” Lilly Endowment’s president and CEO N. Clay Robbins said.

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

Wright said that four months after Sandy struck, the organization’s focus is shifting from near-term to long-term needs.

She said funds will go to non-profit organizations that provide services to people who were already struggling before the storm.

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