December 23, 1999

San Diego County Awarded Federal Funds for Emergency Food
and Shelter Programs

San Diego County has been chosen to receive $869,094 in federal funds to supplement local emergency food and shelter programs. This is the tenth largest Emergency Food and Shelter (EFS) program in the United States and will include all 18 incorporated cities and the county. San Diego County has received EFS funding each year since 1983.

The selection was made by a national board which is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The board consists of representatives from the Salvation Army; American Red Cross; Council of Jewish Federations; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA; and United Way of America, which will provide the administrative staff and function as fiscal agent. The board was charged to distributed 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 25 members will determine how the funds awarded to San Diego County will be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service organizations in the country. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local government or private voluntary organizations chosen to receive funds must: 1) be non-profit, 2) have an accounting system and conduct an annual audit; 3) practice non-discrimination, 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 organizations are urged to apply.

The San Diego County FEMA board has previously distributed emergency food and shelter funds to more than 50 local agencies. These agencies used $821,304 in FEMA funds to provide more than 440,000 meals and more than 80,000 of lodging during 1999. Agencies interested in further information on the program should contact Joe Silva, director of finance at Catholic Charities. The mailing address is 349 Cedar Street, San Diego, California, 92101-3197.

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