Local United Way to distribute food aid

Apr. 17—Otsego County has been awarded $20,091 in funds from the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, a subdivision of FEMA, according to a media release from United Way of Mid Rural New York.

In 2023, more than $19,000 was allocated to Otsego County and several local food pantries and soup kitchens received funding.

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program National Board is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and comprises representatives from the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and the United Way Worldwide. The board "has been charged with distributing the funds appropriated through Congress to help expand the capacity of emergency food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country, especially in the era of the post-COVID 19 pandemic," according to the release.

The local Otsego County EFSP Board is made up of representatives from the United Way of Mid Rural New York, Catholic Charities, Family Services Association, The Lord's Table, Otsego County Health Department, Otsego County Department of Social Services, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, St. Mary's Church and St. James' Church. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive the funding under the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

Under the terms of the grant, local agencies were eligible to apply for 2024 funding as of April 16. Applicant agencies must be:

* Private voluntary non-profits or units of government;

* Have an accounting system;

* Practice non-discrimination;

* Have demonstrated the capacity to deliver emergency shelter programming, emergency utility programming, or emergency food programming;

* If they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary governing board;

* Have a UEI (previously DUNS) number and;

* Have the ability to receive funds electronically.

All qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Agencies interested in applying must contact the United Way of Mid Rural New York office at 83 N. Broad St. in Norwich, NY 13815 or call 607-334-8815 for an application packet. The deadline for completed applications is May 3 and they must be submitted to the United Way office. Agencies will be informed of their application status once the local board has met to review received applications in mid-May.