SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A neighborhood group in South Bend has won a $30,000 federal grant to prevent lead poisoning in children.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's funding will allow the Near Northwest Neighborhood Inc. to hire two part-time community outreach workers for a one-year effort starting in January.

The South Bend Tribune reports those workers will spread the word about the risks of lead in old homes. That toxic metal can permanently damage youngsters' brains.

The effort that will focus on helping families with children in an area known as U.S. Census Tract 6 also received a $16,500 grant this year from a local foundation.

State data released last year showed an unusually high percentage of young children had elevated blood levels from 2005 through 2015 in Tract 6, along with other neighborhoods.

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com