Jefferson County awarded grant

Jefferson County has been chosen to receive $36,125 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the area.

The selection was 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, Council of Jewish Federations, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and United Way of America.

The United Way will provide the administrative staff and function as fiscal agent for the funds. They were tasked with distributing the funds, which were appropriated by Congress, to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas across the country.

The local board — made up of the county judge, a representative from the city of Pine Bluff, United Way members and others — will determine how the funds awarded to Jefferson County are to be distributed to the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service organizations 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 governmental or private voluntary organizations chosen to receive funds must be nonprofit; have an accounting system and conduct an annual audit; practice nondiscrimination; have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food or shelter programs; and if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.

Qualifying organizations are urged to apply.

Jefferson County has distributed Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds previously to the Area Agency on Aging, Committee Against Spouse Abuse, Human Development and Research Services, Neighbor to Neighbor and the Salvation Army. These agencies provided meals, rent and utilities assistance with EFSP funds.

For more information, contact the United Way of Southeast Arkansas at 534-2153 by Monday, Dec. 10.