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GRAND RAPIDS (April 15, 2015) – Itasca County has been awarded federal funds through the State Set-Aside process under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP). The program provides assistance for food, utilities and shelter to individuals and families in emergency situations who meet the federal eligibility guidelines.

United Way has been chosen to receive $7,519 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the county. Funding is based on poverty and average unemployment statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor for the most current 12-month period. In 2014, the county received $5,614 through the program, which was awarded to the Grace House and Advocates for Family Peace.

The selection was made by a national board that is chaired by the Emergency Food and Shelter Board Program (EFSP) and consists of representatives from the Salvation Army; American Red Cross; United Jewish Communities; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA; and United Way of America. 

United Way of 1000 Lakes convenes a local board of community partners to determine which organizations can best use the emergency dollars award. The local board determines how the funds will be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies. The board will meet Tuesday, April 14th at 12 p.m. at United Way (350 NW 1st Ave., Grand Rapids).

Applications are now being accepted from human service agencies serving Itasca County. Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, organizations chosen to receive funds must: 
Be private voluntary non-profits or units of government.
Have an accounting system.
Practice non-discrimination.
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. 

If you would like more information about applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds, contact United Way of 1000 Lakes at 218-999-7570.The deadline for submission is 12 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

Sidebar: The board has previously distributed supplemental funds to the Community Café, GRACE House, The Salvation Army, Advocates for Family Peace, Second Harvest Food Bank and Keisler House. These agencies were responsible for providing, through EFSP funding for programs such as: food assistance for the displaced, utility assistance and housing assistance. 

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