United Way of 1000 Lakes Announces Emergency Food, Shelter Funding for Itasca County

United Way of 1000 Lakes has announced the availability of Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) awards for two phases in Itasca County Itasca totaling more than $55,000 in federal funds. 

The award includes $13,252 for Phase 39 (FY21) and an appropriation of $42,544 under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA-R). 

The award selection was made through the State Set-Aside process, through which a board at the state level allocated $551,592 in federal funds to jurisdictions based on factors such as poverty, energy assistance, and unemployment rates.

United Way of 1000 Lakes, the Itasca County administrator, brings together a board of representatives from organizations that are concerned with the issues of hunger and homelessness in Itasca County. The group is responsible for reviewing applications and determining the allocation of funds to agencies that apply.

Funds are distributed to human service agencies to supplement food services, shelter, utility assistance, and related supplies, including diapers, feminine hygiene products, and repackaging supplies.

Local organizations chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private, voluntary nonprofits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.

Applications for both phases may be electronically submitted to United Way at uwlakes.org/nonprofit-resources. All applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 29th, 2022. Applicants are also encouraged to participate in a Zoom meeting at 1:00 p.m. on March 30th, 2022.

Community members interested in the issues of hunger, homelessness, and poverty in Itasca County are invited to inquire about joining the EFSP Local Board. Those interested are invited to call 218-999-7570 or email kimberly@uwlakes.org to learn more about membership.

For questions, contact Kim Brink Smith, United Way of 1000 Lakes Executive Director, at 218-999-7570 or by email. Applications and additional information about the Emergency Food and Shelter Program may be found at uwlakes.org/nonprofit-resources.


The board has previously distributed supplemental funds to the Community Café, Grace House, KOOTASCA Community Action, The Salvation Army, Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, and United Way of Northeastern Minnesota. These agencies were responsible for providing shelter, food, and supportive services for adults and children who are experiencing hunger, homelessness, and economic crisis in and around Itasca County.