WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced $100 million will be distributed via the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) National Board. The funds will go to thousands of non-profit organizations across the nation to help feed the hungry and shelter the homeless during fiscal year 1999 (Oct. 1, 1998 through Sept. 30, 1999). Over the past sixteen years, Congress has appropriated a total of more than $1.8 billion for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
"This program's supplemental funds continue to assist thousands of people facing non-disaster emergencies," said FEMA Director James Lee Witt. "Last year, the funding helped local non-profit and government agencies provide more than 4 million nights of shelter, pay more than 300,000 rent, mortgage and/or utility bills, and serve more than 80 million meals."
"The EFS Program continues to be a model public/private partnership," said ESFP National Board Chairperson Kay Goss, who is FEMA's Associate Director for Preparedness, Training and Exercises. "Each year, the National Board develops a formula based on national unemployment and poverty rates to determine funding distribution." The EFSP National Board has representatives from the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, Council of Jewish Federations, The United Way, and The National Council of Churches.
The public/private partnership carries through to the grassroots level as local boards determines how to use EFSP funds in their communities. Each jurisdiction (county/city) receiving EFSP funds establishes a local board whose composition mirrors the National Board. Local boards advertise the availability of funds, establish local priorities, select the nonprofit and government agencies to receive EFSP funding and monitor program compliance.
"We all take great pride in a program that so efficiently distributes federal funds by relying on a continuing partnership between FEMA and dedicated volunteer organizations," Witt said. "With a minimum of paperwork and bureaucracy, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program is an example of how the federal government can help communities help themselves."
Detailed information including a breakdown of funding allocations is available online from the EFSP National Board Web site at www.efsp.unitedway.org.