United Way to Distribute Emergency Food & Shelter Program Funds (EFSP)

Itasca County has been chosen to receive $20,057 in federal funds for Phase 38 (FY20) of the Emergency Food & Shelter Program.

The selection was made through the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA) under the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Based on 12-month (December-November) unemployment rates, EFSP provides relief to individuals and families who are experiencing hunger, homelessness, and economic crisis.  

United Way of 1000 Lakes, the local administrator of EFSP funds, brings together a board of representatives from organizations that are concerned with the issues of hunger and homelessness in Itasca County. The board is responsible for determining allocations. 

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.

Agencies interested in receiving a portion of funding should complete and submit an application at uwlakes.org/nonprofit-resources. The deadline to apply is Monday, December 14, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Applicants are also encouraged to participate in a Zoom meeting on December 15th at 1:00 p.m. 

Community members knowledgeable about or interested in hunger, homelessness, and poverty in Itasca County are invited to inquire about joining the EFSP Local Board, as United Way is seeking local leaders, particularly those from the faith community, to join the Board. Those interested are invited to call 218-999-7570 or email info@uwlakes.org to learn more.

For more information about the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, contact Kim Brink Smith, United Way of 1000 Lakes Executive Director, at 218-999-7570.

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.