In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Thierry Malasa pauses while describing the harrowing journey that led his family from the Congo to Maine, as the family prepared to move out of the Portland Expo. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

Officials in Maine announced the distribution of more than $141,000 to nearly a dozen groups that helped Portland accommodate the influx of asylum seekers last year.

The first round of funding was distributed to those that donated more than $900,000 to the city, the Portland Press Herald reported Monday.

The 11 groups donated the money to help offset costs of sheltering, feeding and housing nearly 450 people who arrived beginning last June after officials had scrambled to set up emergency housing for many of them. At that time, the city was welcoming an unprecedented number of asylum seekers escaping persecution and violence from their homelands.

The fund was established to manage the donations, and the city encouraged organizations to apply to it.

City Manager Jon Jennings said the city continues to work with other groups that have yet to apply for a reimbursement.

The city will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis to distribute additional funds, according to City Hall communications director Jessica Grondin.