Food insecurity is a growing problem in America that is being addressed at the federal, regional and local levels.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently awarded funds to the local emergency board. The Del Norte County Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) received $12,763 in Phase 36 funding to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The award was made by a national board that is chaired by FEMA and consists of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army, and United Way Worldwide. The board is 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 representatives from local agencies representing emergency services will determine how the funds awarded to Del Norte County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies. The local board is responsible for selecting agencies to received these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Del Norte County EFSP has distributed emergency food and shelter funds previously to Rural Human Services, DORCAS (Seventh Day Adventist Church), and Our Daily Bread Ministries. These agencies were responsible for providing over 7,000 meals in the previous phase of funding.

In May of 2018, Del Norte County was awarded $12,529 in Phase 35 funding. In June of 2018, the Del Norte local board awarded Phase 35 FEMA EFSP funds to Adventist Community Services ($10,529) and Harrington House ($2,000). FEMA EFSP funds may be used to provide food, shelter or assistance with utility bills. The Del Norte local board limits the focus of its program to food security services.

Under the terms of the grant award from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must be 501(c )3 private nonprofits or units of government, be eligible to receive federal funds, have an accounting system, practice nondiscrimination, have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and if they are a private nonprofit organization, have a voluntary board of directors. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Qualifying organizations interested in applying for EFSP funds can email Amber Weston (aweston@dnsc1.org) for an application. The deadline for applications to be received is 4 p.m. on Friday, July 18.

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