The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded Blount County more than $35,000 under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

On March 18, the EFSP national board voted to allow local boards to extend their jurisdiction's phase 35 and 36 spending periods. Blount County will receive $18,803 in phase 35 and $16,442 in phase 36.

The national board is chaired by FEMA and has representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide.

Local boards are charged with distributing funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

Blount County’s local board will determine how the funds awarded locally are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area.

In order to be chosen to receive the funds, local agencies must be private nonprofits or units of government that are eligible to receive federal funds. If an agency is a private voluntary organization, it must have a voluntary board. The agencies must practice nondiscrimination, have an accounting system and the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.

Qualifying agencies are urged to apply before the April 2 deadline. To receive an application, contact Wendy Wand at wwand@unitedwayblount.org.

Follow @sshreports on Twitter for more from county government reporter Shelby Harris. 

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