Cannon Co. Hopes To Be Awarded Federal Funds Under EFSP Program

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Cannon County has been chosen in the past to receive funds to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county under various phases of the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. Because the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) fiscal year 2011 appropriation has not been enacted, the EFSP does not yet have funds available to support grants in fiscal year 2011.

“These are difficult times for many and we are hopeful that we will receive funding in 2011 under Phase 29. This will provide help to families facing a job loss or seniors on a fixed income and need help to pay a month’s electric bill or buy groceries,” said local Board Chair Connie Rigsby, Director of the Cannon County Senior Citizens Center.

The selection is made by a National Board that is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from The Salvation Army; American Red Cross; United Jewish Communities; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; and United Way Worldwide, which provides the administrative staff and functions as fiscal agent.  The local board is charged with distributing the funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

The local board, made up of representatives from Cannon County government, Salvation Army, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, and other Cannon County agencies will determine how the funds awarded to Cannon County are 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 made 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) 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 volunteer board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

In Cannon County under Phase 28 in 2010, $11,215 in Emergency Food and Shelter funds were distributed to Cannon County SAVE, Cannon County Senior Citizens Center, Upper Cumberland Human Resources Agency, REACH, and Domestic Violence Program.

“This funding enabled these agencies to provide over 2,000 meals, 100 nights of lodging, and assistance to multiple individuals or families for utility payments,” stated Rigsby.

The Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program was created in 1983 to supplement the work of local social service organizations within the United States, both private and governmental, to help people in need of emergency assistance.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties at (615) 893-7303 extension 106 for an application. The deadline to submit an application is noon, on Monday, April 4, 2011.

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