Agencies must act quickly to apply for federal grants

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Nonprofits, faith-based organizations, or eligible government units can apply through February 23 for federal funds to supplement emergency food and shelter services.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program awarded $27,025 for distribution in Cole County. Callaway County will receive $15,253; Moniteau County, $5,532; and Osage County, $3,100.

Eligible organizations in these counties should apply for the funding by downloading an application from the United Way of Central Missouri website – www.unitedwaycemo.org/efsp39arpa-r or contact Theresa Verslues by calling the United Way office at 573-636- 4100. Or email Verslues at [email protected] The deadline for submission is February 23 at 5 p.m.

To be eligible, organizations must be private nonprofit voluntary organizations, faith-based organizations, or government units.

They must have an accounting system, practice non-discrimination, have a demonstrated ability to provide emergency services, food and/or shelter programs, and have a volunteer board of directors if this is of a private voluntary organization.

Any non-profit, faith-based, or local government agency that provides food and lodging services can apply for funds. Current or previous participation in the program is not required.

All applying agencies must have a Data Universal Numbering System number (used to identify businesses) and a Federal Employer Identification Number.

Agencies may receive funds to provide services, including, but not limited to:

• Food services, such as group meals or groceries

• Accommodation in a mass shelter, or in a hotel/motel or other off-site shelter limited to 90 days of assistance per individual or household

• Three months of rent or mortgage assistance to avoid eviction or foreclosure

• Utility support for three months of service for gas, electric and water service

• Supplies, including but not limited to cleaning supplies and small essential equipment to feed or shelter people, not to exceed $300 per item

The United Way of Central Missouri has been part of the local council that has overseen the program for many years, said Ann Bax, president of the local United Way.

It makes sense for the United Way to be the council’s local organizer, Bax said. He has ties to many organizations that apply for grants.

Verslues goes above and beyond to ensure agencies complete applications completely and appropriately to avoid delays or rejections, Bax said.

“The biggest challenge is that so many of these agencies are running at full capacity,” she said. “The requirements are strict and the notice is very short. (Verslues) spends a lot of time at the agencies, making sure they complete the paperwork correctly.”

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