FEMA awards $4,310 for local food and shelter

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded a little more than $4,000 to be used for emergency food and shelter in Freeborn County.

A local board of directors, led by chairwoman Linda Lares, will meet soon to administer the funds to local agencies that provide food or shelter. Lares said the highest amount the county ever received was $18,000, but in the last three years the funds have decreased. This year’s appropriation was $4,310.

Linda Lares

Linda Lares

“It’s not a whole lot of money, but it makes a big difference,” Lares said.

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Often the funds go to the Alden Area Food Shelf, the Ecumenical Food Pantry at First Presbyterian Church, the Salvation Army Food Shelf, the Loaves and Fishes meal program at St. Theodore Catholic Church and the emergency shelter at Semcac.

Lares said any local agency that provides emergency food or shelter can apply for part of the funding. Agencies must be a nonprofit or government agency and have a federal identification number, among other criteria.

“There may be someone else who comes forward who would like to access funds for their organization,” Lares said. “They’re more than welcome to come address the board and put a request in.”

Semcac is the fiscal agent and administers the funds for all the agencies. Lares is the cultural diversity specialist at Semcac. She said the board decides how the funds are split up but that it’s equitable between agencies.

“It really helps a lot of our families in Freeborn County,” Lares said. “It really does impact and help folks.”

Lares said local food shelves, meal programs and the emergency shelter help families and individuals who need that little bit of extra help.

“It helps bridge between other gaps in the community that families are just falling through.”

To learn more about the emergency food and shelter funding contact Lares at 373-1329.