By DONNY SUPPLEE
Special to the C-I
Kershaw County has been awarded federal funds under the state set-aside - emergency food and shelter national board program
Kershaw County has been chosen to receive $7,500 for 2013 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. Thus we are committed locally to stretching these funds as best we can to help address the emergency shelter and food needs in our county.
In 2010 we received $47,131, in 2011, $9,203 in 2011 and no funding in 2012. Past funding has assisted with utility payments, mass shelter, rent and mortgage assistance, domestic shelter services, food pantries and soup kitchens, and services for mental health clients. Only 2 percent goes toward administration of the funds.
In all cases, these funds were distributed to non-profit organizations that already served the needy in our 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, 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, a homeless representative, 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, 5) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.
Qualifying agencies are encouraged 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, SC or call 432-0951 for an application. The deadline for applications is noon, March 4.