Jackson County has been awarded federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program based upon available statistics. This will be phase 38 of the emergency food and shelter program.

Jackson County has been chosen to receive $16,729 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The award is based upon the total number of unemployed compared to the total number of unemployed in all qualifying jurisdictions.

The selection was made by a national board chaired by FEMA and consisting of representatives from the American Red Cross, Catholic Church Charities and United Way Worldwide. The local board is charged with distributing funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

A local board made up of different organizations within the county, such as United Way, United Christian Ministries, Health Department, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Department of Social Services, Department on Aging, Mountain Projects and others will determine how the funds will be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local agencies in the county.

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

• Be private, voluntary nonprofits or units of government.

• Have an accounting system.

• Practice non-discrimination.

• Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.

• Have a voluntary board if they are a private voluntary organization.

Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Jackson County has distributed emergency food and shelter funds previously with agencies responsible for providing mass feeding, mass shelter, one-month rent/mortgage assistance and one-month assistance with utilities.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must send a letter to request funding and tell how the funding will be spent by the agency to the Jackson County Emergency Management Office, 401 Grindstaff Cove Road, Sylva, NC 28779; or by contacting the office at jcemergencymgt@jacksonnc.org or 586-7508. The deadline for applications is Jan. 28.