United Way of St. John seeking federal funds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2011

LAPLACE – For the 29th consecutive year, St John the Baptist Parish is seeking federal funding under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program to supplement existing emergency food and shelter programs in the parish, Greg Maurin, vice president of St John United Way and chairman of the local Emergency Food and Shelter Board, announced last week. St John United Way serves as fiscal monitor and local contact for the program.

The program is run by a national board of affiliates and chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It consists of representatives from the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities, National Council of Churches of Christ and United Way Worldwide. This board is charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

As the bill authorizing funding has not yet been approved by Congress, the specific amount available is yet to be determined. Because of the obvious community need, the local board has been authorized to proceed in seeking local nonprofits interested in possibly participating in the program. Funding is neither currently available nor guaranteed. To possibly participate, agencies must be nonprofit, have an accounting system, practice nondiscrimination and have demonstrated the ability to run emergency food and/or shelter programs, and if private, they must have a voluntary board.

The local board (made up from representatives of local affiliates of the above agencies, other local agencies and the Parish President’s Office) will determine how the funds awarded to St John Parish are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service organizations in the parish.

For more information about the program, agencies can call Maurin at 985-618-1425 or St John United Way at 985-651-9118 by March 18.