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Carroll receives food and shelter funding

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By Dave Taylor

The News-Democrat

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded $4,587 to Carroll County as part of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Federal funds totaling $100 million were made available nationally to the EFSP through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to an April 10 news release from FEMA. The funds bring immediate relief to communities to address unemployment, poverty and other needs in light of the economic climate faced by the country. Nearly $1.5 million was released to crisis centers and other agencies across the state of Kentucky, the FEMA release stated.

“This money is not actually coming from FEMA,” said Jennifer Belisle, Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission Community Services Director, from her Covington office. The NKCAC oversees distribution of EFSP funds to an eight county area, including Carroll County. “The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is funded directly through Congress. We should have this money in our hands in a few weeks.”

Belisle said the EFSP grant will be distributed to those needing assistance in part through Carroll County Ministerial Association’s food pantry. The balance of the money will be distributed through the NKCAC.

According to information from the United States Department of Homeland Security, funds will be distributed to support social service agencies in more than 2,500 cities and counties across the country. In each funded jurisdiction, a local board advertises the availability of the funds, establishes local priorities, selects local non-profit and government agencies to receive supplemental funding, and monitors program compliance. The grant funds are used to supplement food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs for people with non-disaster related emergencies. Belisle encouraged persons seeking to apply for assistance through the program to call Vickie Kemper at the local NKCAC office, located at 220 Seventh Street in Carrollton, to find out more about the EFSP and other assistance programs available. The telephone number is 732-5253

“DHS is hopeful that these funds will be used to help individuals and families meet some of their basic, non-disaster related needs. We believe that the EFSP has an extraordinary history of providing food and shelter for families over the past 26 years,” said U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, “but an unprecedented need exists to provide this assistance to even more individuals. We are grateful a program like this exists for families struggling to make ends meet after the paycheck runs out.”

Additional jurisdictions in Kentucky may be selected at a later date by the EFSP State Set-Aside Committee. The EFSP National Board, chaired by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and composed of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; United Jewish Communities; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Salvation Army; and United Way of America, provides supplemental funding to shelters, soup kitchens and food banks.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters.