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Kershaw County awarded federal funds for emergency food, shelter programs

Posted: January 6, 2012 2:11 p.m.
Updated: January 9, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County has been chosen to receive $9,703 for 2011-12 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. Federal funding challenges have hit the most needy of the community at a time when it is needed most.

In 2010 the local Emergency Food and Shelter Program received $47,131 and the funding resulted in the following:
• Assisted 54 families with utility payments with $9,977.59
• Provided 1,333 nights stay in mass shelter services and 69 nights stay in local motels for individuals and families. Total assistance $13,153.
• Served 90 households with $10,000 in rent and mortgage assistance.
• Provided 280 nights stay for Domestic Shelter services totaling $3,500.
• Supported two food pantries and one soup kitchen with $7,000 to provide over 11,535 meals to the needy.
• Supported the needs of Mental Health clients with 11 nights of motel stay for $455 and paid three rent/mortgage bills for $653.

The remaining 2 percent, $943, went toward administration of the funds. In all cases these funds were distributed to non-profit organizations that already served the needy in the local community. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds helped extend the work these agencies and ministries provide.

Funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program is made by a National Board that is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and consists of representatives from The Salvation Army; American Red Cross; United Jewish Communities; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; and United Way of America. The local board in Kershaw County is charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

The local board includes members from Christian Community Ministries, KC Dept. of Social Services, Helping Hand Ministries, American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, KC Council on Aging, Wateree Community Action, Kershaw County, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Habitat for Humanity, New Day on Mill Transitional Shelter, Mental Health America of Kershaw County, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Sistercare, House of Bread Ministry, a homeless representative, community volunteers and the United Way of Kershaw County. Members from these local groups will distribute these funds among the emergency food and shelter programs run by service agencies in our county.

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 voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply. Applications must be to expand and enhance an existing program that serves the emergency food and shelter needs of our community.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Donny Supplee, Local Program Chair, 110 E. DeKalb St., Camden or call 432-0951 for an application. The deadline for applications is noon, Jan. 16.

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