RI Delegation Announces Over $600,000 in Federal Funds for Food and Shelter Assistance
WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to provide critical assistance to struggling families, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation today announced $616,716 in federal funding to supplement emergency food and shelter programs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) will support local social service agencies in providing food, rent, and utility assistance to individuals faced with non-disaster related emergencies.
“During these difficult economic times we must continue to provide assistance to help families in crisis meet their basic needs,” said the Congressional delegation in a joint statement. “This federal investment will help soup kitchens, community food, and shelter programs throughout the state deliver critical assistance to those in need.”
The EFSP program is designed to give local communities flexibility in determining how best to direct these resources to assist families with the greatest need. Providence County is being awarded $388,451 in EFSP funding and $228,265 will be granted to the Rhode Island State Set-Aside Committee, which may award money to additional communities throughout the state. In each community receiving federal money, a local board advertises the availability of funding, establishes priorities, selects local non-profit and government organizations that will get the money, and ensures that all groups are in compliance.
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program’s national board includes representatives from several groups, including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the United Way of America.
The EFSP has been in existence since 1983 and was authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Earlier this year House Republicans had targeted ESFP for a 50 percent cut, which would have slashed $100 million from the program. All four members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation opposed the cuts.