United Way of Pinal County

The United Way of Pinal County has received notice that $197,693 for emergency food and shelter services (EFSP) will be made available for distribution to agencies, according to Allen A. Villalobos, Chief Executive Officer.

The United Way of Pinal County administers the local program under the guidance of the local volunteer EFSP Board that will determine how and to whom these grant funds will be awarded. These funds are reserved for nonprofit agencies that, as a part of normal business, provide emergency food and shelter services. They are not intended for startups, new agencies or individuals.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) have an accounting system, 3) practice nondiscrimination, 4) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs and 5) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.

The Pinal County Local EFSP Board distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds through the Phase 35 funding cycle to the following countywide agencies: Against Abuse, Inc. for shelter supplies; Community Action Human Resources Agency (CAHRA) for food and rent assistance; Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) for emergency shelter and food assistance; Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens (PGCSC) for home-delivered meals; Salvation Army for rent and mortgage assistance, emergency shelter and food assistance; Seeds of Hope for served meals and other food; Catholic Community Services for served meals; Genesis Project for food distribution and Future Forward Foundation for community gardens.

Villalobos mentioned that 1:4 homes is food insecure, and homeless prevention is a key concern of all the area communities. “EFSP funds are critical in helping local agencies assist residents who are experiencing a personal crisis. In Pinal County, a person needs to earn about $18/hour to afford a decent place to live. There are many folks who make a lot less than that and struggle to stay housed. Rental assistance is a huge gap. These federal dollars keep many households from becoming homeless,” Villalobos added.

These funds are made available to Pinal County by a National Board that is chaired by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; The Salvation Army; United Jewish Communities and United Way of America. Funds are appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

The 2019 EFSP Phase 36 Funding application deadline, will be August 22nd, 2019, and is available at www.unitedwayofpc.org/efsp. Any questions can be addressed by contacting the United Way office at 520-836-0736.

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