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

Itasca County has been chosen to receive $66,355 in federal funds to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the area. The award includes $27,355 for Phase 37 (FY19) and an appropriation of $39,000 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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 comprised of representatives from organizations that are concerned with the hungry and homeless. The board is responsible to determine allocations. 

Funds are distributed to human service agencies to supplement food services, shelter, utility assistance, and related supplies, including diapers, feminine hygiene products, cleaning solutions, 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 for each phase at uwlakes.org/nonprofit-resources. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Applicants are also encouraged to participate in a Zoom meeting on May 21 at 1 p.m. 

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, 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.