United Way of Central Florida

Polk County Awarded Federal Funds by Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program

Polk County has been chosen to receive $331,737 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The selection was made by the National Board that is chaired by the 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 Salvation Army; United Jewish Communities and, United Way of America. 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.

A local board, made up of local government officials, clergy, emergency service providers, homeless representatives, and United Way will determine how the funds awarded to Polk 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:

1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) have an accounting system, 3) practice non-discrimination, 4) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and, 5) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Polk County has distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds previously with 16 local recipient organizations participating. These agencies assisted with food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility bills.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Debbie Wilson with United Way of Central Florida at (863) 648-1500, extension 236 or e-mail Debbie.Wilson@uwcf.org for an application. INDIVIDUALS CANNOT APPLY FOR EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER FUNDS. The deadline for applications to be received is July 27, 2011.

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