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SMOC awarded federal funds through FEMA

WORTHINGTON — Southwestern Minnesota Opportunity Council Inc. (SMOC), the community action agency serving Murray, Nobles, Pipestone and Rock counties, has been awarded federal funds through the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

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SMOC was chosen to receive funds to supplement emergency food and shelter programs. The selection was made by the Minnesota State Set-Aside committee and a national board that is chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and consists of representatives from the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; the Salvation Army; United Jewish Communities and United Way of America.

The local board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

A local board comprised of the above named agencies, as well as other local agencies, will determine how the funds awarded to SMOC are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds made available through FEMA.

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) be eligible to receive federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.

Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

SMOC has distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds in previous years to Manna Food Pantry, Worthington Christian Church Food Shelf, Murray County Food Shelf, Pipestone Area Food Shelf and the Rock County Food Shelf.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds may contact Community Services Coordinator Paula Boehrs at SMOC Inc., Box 787, Worthington 56187, for an application. Deadline for applications to be received is Nov. 22.