Fifteen organizations that help in the areas of education, income and health have been awarded grants by the United Way of Kern County for its 2013 Community Impact Grant program, the United Way announced Friday.

The grants, plus some money set aside for future needs, total $540,000. The grants were awarded after a three-step review process, according to a United Way news release.

Nine grants were awarded to help combat homelessness and hunger through providing food, shelter and protection from abuse. Those organizations are:

* Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault: $50,000

* Alpha House: $15,000

* Bakersfield Homeless Center: $85,000

* Community Action Partnership of Kern: $25,000

* Flood Bakersfield Ministries: $20,000

* The Hope Center: $10,000

* The Mission at Kern County: $35,000

* The N.E.E.D.S. Center: $10,000

* Food Policy Council: $25,000

Five grants were awarded focusing on education, according to the news release. Those grants will help children become ready for school, students read at grade level and young adults receive training for jobs. The organizations are:

* Ready to Start: $50,000

* McFarland Family Resource Center: $15,000

* Kern County Superintendent of Schools: $21,000

* Kern High School District Career Resources Department: $75,000

* Education Opportunity Fund: $9,000

The United Way also gave $90,000 to 2-1-1 Kern County to ensure that social service referrals will continue, according to the news release.

In order to address future needs that have not come up yet, the United Way also set aside $5,000 for its Community Impact Opportunity Fund, according to the news release. This will be used to fund other needs that come up in 2013 that also fit into the categories of education, income and health.