Orange County food, shelter help “much needed in today’s time,” official says

Published 12:34 am Saturday, January 7, 2023

With the cost of groceries, gas, and other household expenses increasing, there is definitely a need for individuals.

According to United Way of Orange County President and CEO Maureen McAllister, that is why Orange County is receiving $52,024 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

“These funds help provide food, rent and utility assistance, which is much needed in today’s time,” she said.

The money comes from the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, which consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide.

The local United Way receives these funds roughly once a year and the amount varies.

According to a release from United Way of Orange County, 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 board will determine how the funds awarded to Orange County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area.

The local board is responsible for recommending agencies receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

1) be private voluntary nonprofits or units of government,

2) be eligible to receive Federal funds,

3) have an accounting system,

4) practice nondiscrimination,

5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and

6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact United Way of Orange County, 1506 W. Park Avenue in Orange, for an application.

The deadline for applications to be received is Jan. 23.

“We have a local Board who will have some time to review the applications,” McAllister said. “We will met in early to mid-February to determine the allocations to qualified agencies.”

McAllister said organizers are confident the money can be put to positive advances locally.

“100 percent; we have an application process, and all agencies are fully vetted,” McAllister said.

For more information, call 409-883-3591 or email ceo@uwoctx.org.