Somerset County has been chosen to receive nearly $24,000 in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The county was selected by a national board chaired by the department’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The board has representatives from The American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide.

A local board, made up of local affiliates from the United Way, American Red Cross — United Valley Branch, and the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter will distribute the money to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in the area.

Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen must be private, voluntary nonprofits or units of government; must be eligible to receive federal funds; must have an accounting system; must practice nondiscrimination; must have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and, if a private voluntary organization, must have a voluntary board.

Somerset County has distributed emergency food and shelter money previously with 13 participating agencies. Earlier, Kennebec County was awarded more than $39,000.

Public or private voluntary agencies in Kennebec or Somerset counties interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds should contact Stacy Saucier at United Way of Mid-Maine by calling 873-0686 for an application. The application deadline is May 21.

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