WENATCHEE — Emergency food and shelter programs in Chelan and Douglas counties can apply for $74,544 in federal funds being distributed this year by United Way of NCW.

The amount is almost twice what was available to local programs last year through the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The federal funds are allocated to the counties by a national board chaired by FEMA. The allocations are determined by population size, unemployment rate and poverty rate, according to the program website.

This year, about $48,000 is available in Chelan County and about $27,000 in Douglas County. Last year, the two counties were allocated a combined $39,000, with $13,000 for Chelan County and $26,000 for Douglas County.

“It is a significant increase,” Carrie Gavin, United Way’s vice president of community investment and impact, said of the allocation. “The EFSP did not disclose any reason, however we know our community need is great. As resources are more available from FEMA, and demonstrated need is captured, it would seem to be a plausible explanation (my best guess) for the increase in allocations.”

As in years past, the money is being distributed by United Way, with applications vetted by the local board. Grant applications are due Nov. 1.

The award history shows the counties, combined, were allocated between $30,000 and $40,000 a year from 2013 through last year. The amount dropped to $12,356 in 2012. Before that, amounts were in the $70,000 range.

The funds are targeted for use in five areas:

  • Food served as meals or groceries
  • Lodging in a hotel or shelter
  • One month’s rent or mortgage payment
  • One month’s utility bill
  • Equipment, up to $300 per item, needed to feed or shelter people

Organizations qualified to receive the funds must be nonprofits or government agencies eligible to receive federal funds, have an accounting system, practice nondiscrimination and demonstrate the ability to deliver food and shelter programs. The minimum request is $1,000. Programs receiving funds last year included:

  • Community Action Council: $15,916
  • YWCA: $12,500
  • Wenatchee Food Bank: $6,500
  • Entiat Valley Community Services Food Bank: $3,825

The year before that, grants also went to Okanogan Transportation and Nutrition and the Women’s Resource Center.

The applications are available at uwncw.org under the “what we do” tab. For information, call Gavin at 662-8261.

Nevonne McDaniels: 664-7151