2008-12-25 / Front Page

Fulton County Gets An Early Christmas Gift

$14,288 allotted locally through federal program
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Futon County is one of nine counties in the 9th Congressional District slated to receive funding for food and shelter-related emergencies through a federally based program.

Congressman Bill Shuster announced Friday afternoon that a total of $583,625 will find its way into the 9th District as a result of an allotment by the Department of Homeland Security's Emergency Food and Shelter (EFS) Program.

Fulton County, according to Shuster, will receive $14,288 to supplement and expand existing efforts within the area to provide shelter, food and related services. Additional allotments ranging from $38,969 to a maximum amount of $106,084 were awarded to Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Fayette, Huntingdon, Indiana and Somerset counties.

Shuster stated it remains possible that additional counties located within the district could still be selected at a future date by the EFS State Set-Aside committee, which has a total of $964,124 in its coffers to give to needy areas.

Officials from various agencies, including the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, United Jewish Communities, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the Salvation Army and the United Way of America, serve on the EFS National Bard, which in turn is chaired by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency. The board worked toward providing additional funding to shelter, food banks and even soup kitchens. Money for rent, mortgage and utility assistance is also available through the boards for individuals and families requiring temporary, non-disaster-related emergency needs.

The EFS program was established in 1983 under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. As a result of the 2008 fiscal allocation, an estimated $3.1 billion in federal aid has been distributed nationwide through the EFS program since its creation 25 years ago.

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