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Charles County has been chosen to receive $19,163 by the State Set-Aside Committee under Phase 30 of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The selection was made by a national board that is chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; The Jewish Federations of North America; The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The local 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 EFSP board, which will include representatives of the Charles County Government and local not-for-profit human service organizations, will determine how the funds awarded to Charles County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service organizations in the area.

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 organizations chosen to receive funds must be private voluntary nonprofits or units of government; be eligible to receive federal funds; have an accounting system; practice nondiscrimination; have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board. Qualifying organizations are urged to apply.

The local board agreed that all funds would go toward program expenses, with nothing allocated for administrative allowance.

Charles County has distributed emergency food and shelter funds previously to Charles County Children’s Aid Society; Christ Church, Durham Parish’s Joe’s Place; Lifestyles of Maryland Foundation; South Potomac Church; St. Mary, Star of the Sea Pantry; and Wayside Food Bank. The agencies were responsible for providing meals, providing mass shelter and assisting with utility payments in 2011.

Public or private voluntary organizations interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Dorothy Harper, chairwoman of the Charles County Homeless and Emergency Shelter Committee, at 301-609-4844 or dorothyharper@unitedwaycharles.org for an application.

The deadline for applications to be received is Jan. 4.