E-T Staff Report

Erath County has been awarded federal funds under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program through the affiliation of the Erath County United Way. Erath County has been chosen to receive $15,684 to supplement emergency food and shelter program in the county.

A National Board chaired by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency consisting of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; The Salvation Army; United Jewish Communities and, United Way of America made the selection. The board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

A local board made up of Catholic Charities, Church Organizations, Governmental Agencies, Salvation Army, Homeless Representative, Financial Institutions, Tarleton State University and Erath County United Way will determine how the funds awarded to Erath County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by the local service agencies in the area. The board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and additional funds available under this phase of the program.

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 to the Erath County United Way by calling 254-965-4429 or email ecuw@embarqmail.com on or before March 14.

Erath County Senior Citizens Inc., dba Meals on Wheels is one non-profit agency that has applied to administrate the funds to a non-target population for 2008. Funds will be released after the deadline of March 14 and all required paper work has been sent to the National Board. In 2007, funds helped 66 families in Erath County with food, emergency shelter, rent/mortgage and utility assistance.