The Erie County Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board recently granted a total of $311,294 in funding to local organizations providing services to Erie County residents in the following categories:
- Emergency food
- Temporary housing (hotel/motel vouchers)
- Rent or mortgage payment assistance
- Utility bill payment assistance
This year, our community received more than double last year's funding as a result of provisions in the CARES Act. This is vital funding for our community, and it will help address needs that have become elevated due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funding is intended to supplement existing programs and grant recipients follow specific documentation guidelines. This round of Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funding must be spent by December 31, 2020.
The following organizations received funding as part of this grant process:
- Second Harvest Food Bank for emergency food
- St. Martin Center for rent and mortgage assistant, utility assistance and temporary housing vouchers
- Salvation Army for temporary housing vouchers
- YMCA of Greater Erie for emergency food
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter.
The program is governed by a National Board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The Board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Communities that receive Emergency Food and Shelter Program allocations are required to convene a local board that mirrors the national board and that also includes representatives from local government. Local boards coordinate grant processes to sub-grant the federal funds to local organizations. Applications are scored by board members without a conflict of interest.
United Way of Erie County coordinates the local grant process as an in-kind service.