A local emergency food and shelter program is patiently waiting to see if it will receive funding this year.
According to local board chairperson Sandi Goebel, Clay County may be awarded federal funds under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP), which would be utilized to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.
"The United States Congress recently passed its budget, and according to a report I received, $120 million had been budgeted to be distributed throughout the country," Goebel said. "As of right now, we do not know if or how much funding Clay County could receive."
According to a press release, funding selections are made by a national board chaired by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which includes representatives from the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A, The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide. Once funding is provided to communities, a local board will determine how the funds are distributed among area emergency food and shelter programs.
The local board is also responsible for recommending agencies to receive these and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.
Under the terms of the grants, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:
* Be private voluntary non-profits or units of government,
* Be eligible to receive federal funds,
* Have an accounting system,
* Practice nondiscrimination,
* Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and
* If a private voluntary organization, a voluntary board must be in place.
All qualifying agencies are urged to apply.
Clay County has distributed EFSP funds for more than 20 years to participating organizations, including the Clay County Food Pantry, Clay County Co-op Benevolence, Wesleyan Chapel Food Pantry, Clay County Emergency Cupboard and Closet (Senior Center), Southern Clay Share and Care (along with its food pantry) and Bowling Green Outreach. Goebel told The Brazil Times these agencies were responsible for providing more than 7,000 meals, along with utility assistance.
Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for EFSP funds should contact Sandi Goebel at 443-0025 for an application.
The deadline for all applications to be received is May 14.