$100 million has been made available to the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP), through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The funding, made available by Congress under this Act, is designed to bring immediate relief to communities to address unemployment, poverty and other needs in light of the economic climate faced by our country. Funds will be distributed to support social service agencies in more than 2,500 cities and counties across the country. EFSP grant funds are used to supplement food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs for people with non-disaster related emergencies.
In our region, $150,553 is going to Hampden County, and $39,298 is going to Berkshire County. There is a state set-aside for Massachusetts in the amount of $242,249.
Funds are made available to local organizations through EFSP Local Boards and the State Set-Aside Committee. Contacts for Local Boards and the MA Set-Aside Committee:
- Hampden: United Way of Pioneer Valley, Joanne Dernoga, 184 Mill St., Springfield, (413) 693-0216
- Berkshire: Berkshire United Way, Kristine Hazzard, P.O. Box 3808 , 200 South St., Pittsfield, MA 01202 , (413) 442-4710
- Massachusetts Set-Aside Committee: United Way of Tri-County, Donna Jackson, 46 Park St., Farmingham, MA 01702, (508)872-3291