MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 30, 2013

Emergency food, shelter program gets FEMA funds

Muskogee County Emergency Food & Shelter Program has been awarded federal funds, according to a media release.

The funds were made available through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP).  Muskogee County EFSP is slated to receive $20,745 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in Muskogee County.  

The area’s awarded amount is partially based upon unemployment data as it compares with overall unemployment data. Debi Busch of Lake Area United Way said a stable unemployment for Muskogee County coupled with a continual decline in congressional appropriations has resulted in a 55 percent decline in local funding over the past six years.  

The national board, chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; The Salvation Army; and, United Way Worldwide. The local board is charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

The local board, which is composed of local representatives reflective of those on the National Board, and local non-profit organizations of a similar nature will determine how the funds awarded to Muskogee County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 4) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if a private voluntary organization, it must have a voluntary board.

Muskogee County Emergency Food & Shelter Program has distributed EFSP funds previously for meals, food and utility distribution, or other related temporary shelter. Public or private voluntary agencies which meet the terms of the grant and provided related services prior to Sept. 30, are urged to contact Lake Area United Way, 311 Court St., (918) 682-1364, for an application. The deadline for applications is Nov. 14.

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