Area emergency food and shelter programs will be receiving some extra funds in the near future.
Clay County was recently awarded $18,310 in federal funds under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.
"The funds will be distributed out to at least four area agencies in the near future," Sandi Goebel, local chairperson for the board, said. "We are also looking for additional non-profit agencies to distribute the funds to."
Goebel said the deadline for applying for funds is Thursday, March 13, and the four agencies which will receive funds at this time are the Clay County Benevolent Association, Clay County Emergency Food Pantry, Southern Clay County Food Pantry and the Clay County Emergency Cupboard and Closet.
"The two food pantries and the cupboard use their funds to purchase food for those in need while the Benevolent Association helps assist in paying utility bills and rent," she said.
The selections are made by a national board chaired by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and consists of representatives from the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A, The Salvation Army, United Jewish Communities and the United Way of America. Local boards are in charge of distributing the funds, which are appropriated by Congress in an effort to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.
"The amount each organization will get is based on how much business they do," Goebel said.
Under the terms of the grant, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:
* Be private voluntary non-profits or units of government,
* Have an accounting system,
* Practice nondiscrimination,
* Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and
* If they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.
"The county has received these funds for a number of years and it is wonderful to be able to help those in need," Goebel said. "However, these funds are not sent straight to individuals. Those in need must contact one of the organizations receiving the funds in order to get assistance."
Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds should contact Sandi Goebel at 812-236-2794.