Needed Boost

Funding for emergency food and shelter programs in Warren County will receive a small, but unexpected boost in 2013.

According to Robert Raible, chairman of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program’s local board, Warren County has been allocated $5,868 to supplement county programs in a year when many thought no allocation would be available.

According to Raible, last year, the local board received no allocation through the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board program, leading to speculation that this year could be skipped as well.

“They don’t do it in years. They do it in phases,” Raible said. “Numerically, this is phase 30. There wasn’t a break in funding in phases. There was in calendar years. They’re still way behind where they should be on phases.”

Funds, according to the program’s website, can be used for food in the form of served meals or groceries, emergency lodging in a mass shelter or hotel, one month of rent or mortgage payment, one month of utility bills or for equipment necessary to feed and shelter people.

The funding, which is provided under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is allocated by a national board made up of representatives from the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide. The board is chaired by FEMA’s representative.

The national board grants county-level funding based on need. There is no county-level application process.

Funds are dispersed to county organizations by a local board made up of representatives from national board member organizations and must be allocated to government or private non-profits which have a voluntary board, are eligible to receive federal funding, have a valid accounting system, practice non-discrimination, have demonstrated capability to provide food and shelter programs and have a federal Data Universal Numbering System number.

Funds allocated within Warren County must be used within the county.

During phase 29, Warren County’s local board allocated all funding to soup kitchen programs. The program allocated only slightly less according to Raible a few hundred dollars in phase 29 than will be received in phase 30.

Organizations wishing to apply for funds through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, should contact Raible at 726-2400 ext. 3021 for an application. The application deadline is Friday, Jan. 11.

“Right now, we’re just waiting (for applications),” Raible said. “We’re just glad to have it coming into the county. We need it.”