volunteers serving food in shelter
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The United Way of Central Carolinas (UWCC) and some of its beneficiaries are breathing a sigh a relief after the organization announced that it secured more than $600,000 for Mecklenburg County’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) – a 25 percent increase from last year, according to UWCC. Local nonprofits that qualify will have a chance to receive some of the pot.

The complexities of the region’s economic growth once again played a role. For the last 21 years, the county has qualified for EFSP funding. However, in May, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Mecklenburg won’t receive funds based on the the poverty and unemployment rates. More affluent areas and an improving economy seem to have had a negative effect for FEMA.

With a number of the organizations affected, U.S. Rep. Alma Adams became a champion for the cause.

“I directed my office to coordinate an emergency meeting with FEMA on behalf of the nine local groups impacted by FEMA’s decision to deny ESFP funding,” Adams said. “I am proud that the unclaimed funds request submitted for Mecklenburg County was approved for $492,093 to help these organizations continue their critical advocacy efforts that provide necessary support to Mecklenburg residents.”

Other local nonprofits joined UWCC and congresswoman Adams to secure an additional $139,000.

“When we come together as one, we are truly advocating for our neighbors most in need,” said Laura Clark, chief impact officer for United Way. “While we are all working to address our community’s economic mobility challenges, advocating for and providing a safety net for those [who] face unexpected life challenges is of upmost importance.”

Interested nonprofits that qualify should contact Janelle Martin at 704-371-6336 or jmartin@uwcentralcarolinas.org to request an application.

Applications must be postmarked no later than August 24, 2018.

Among other things, eligible organizations must be a private, voluntary nonprofit or unit of government. They also must be eligible to receive federal funds and have an accounting system.