, Muskogee, OK

November 27, 2012

Program to receive $23K in federal food, shelter funds

— Muskogee County Emergency Food & Shelter Program has been awarded federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food & Shelter Program. Muskogee County EFSP has been chosen to receive $23,041 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

Congress appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Each area’s awarded amount is based upon unemployment data in comparison to the total number of unemployed in all of the qualifying area.

Debi Busch of Lake Area United Way said in a media release the funding remains close to the previous funding phase, primarily because the unemployment rate for Muskogee county remains relative low compared to the other sections of the United States. Overall, the unemployment rate coupled with a reduction in the congressional appropriations equates to approximately a $10,000 decline in EFSP funding over the past five years.

The selection was made by a national board chaired by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and 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 was 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 comprised of representatives of local organizations represented 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 in the area. 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:

• 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.

• If they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.

Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Muskogee County Emergency Food & Shelter Program has distributed Emergency Food & Shelter funds previously with Women in Safe Home, Gospel Rescue Mission, Muskogee County Community Action, Salvation Army of Muskogee, and Muskogee Cooperative Ministries. These agencies were responsible for providing meals and lodging.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Lake Area United Way at (918) 682-1364.

The deadline for applications to be received is Dec. 11.