Coffee County has been awarded federal funds under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. Coffee County will receive $19,192 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; The Salvation Army; The Jewish Federations of N. America, Jewish Communities and United Way Worldwide. The Local Board here in Coffee County was 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 a representative from local city government, Wiregrass United Way, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Catholic Social Services, Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1, and others will determine how the funds awarded to Coffee County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The Local Board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive Federal Funding, 2) have an accounting system, 3) practice nondiscrimination, 4) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 5) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Last year, Coffee County distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds to Christian Mission Centers, Inc., Coffee County Family Services Center and Wiregrass United Way. These agencies were responsible for providing meals and lodging as well as assistance with multiple utility bills.

Public or private voluntary agencies (not individuals) interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Local Board Chair, Mindy Collier, Wiregrass United Way, at (334)379-6471 to apply for funding. The deadline for applications to be received is Friday, June 21.

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