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The United Way is thrilled to announce that it has received funding from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), enabling us to continue our mission of making a positive impact in our community. With the support received, we are confident in our ability to expand our efforts and provide essential resources to those in need.


FEMA awarded the EFSP National Board a substantial amount of $130 million, made available under the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. No. 117-103) for Phase 41 of the program. This funding, separate from supplemental humanitarian relief, will play a crucial role in strengthening emergency food and shelter programs across the nation.


We are proud to announce that Marion and Jefferson Counties have been selected to receive a total appropriation of $35,292 to supplement their local emergency food and shelter programs. Marion County will be awarded $18,142, while Jefferson County will receive $17,150. This allocation will significantly enhance the capacity of these programs, ensuring that individuals and families in high-need areas have access to vital resources.


The EFSP National Board, chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, comprises representatives from esteemed organizations such as the United Way Worldwide, The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities, and the National Council of Churches. Together, we are committed to making a difference in the lives of those facing adversity.


To ensure the fair distribution of funds, a local board consisting of The United Way of South Central Illinois will oversee the allocation process. Their dedication will guarantee that the funds are distributed among local service agencies running emergency food and shelter programs in Marion and Jefferson Counties.


To be eligible for these funds, agencies must meet specific criteria set forth by the National Board. They must be private voluntary non-profit organizations or units of government, eligible to receive federal funds, possess an accounting system, practice non-discrimination, demonstrate the capability to deliver emergency food or shelter services, and have a voluntary board. We encourage all qualifying agencies to apply and seize this opportunity to make a difference in our community.


Natalie Shook, Executive Director of United Way of South Central Illinois, emphasizes the vital significance of EFSP funding for our community. We are grateful for the support received, which will enable us to further our mission and positively impact the lives of individuals and families in need. With this funding, we can continue to provide essential assistance and work towards creating lasting change. We are truly pleased and committed to utilizing these resources efficiently and effectively. With this funding, we can continue our vital work of providing emergency food and shelter services to those who need it most. Together, we can create a stronger, more resilient community.


For agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds, please contact Natalie Shook at the United Way of South Central Illinois at 618-242-8000 for an application. Alternatively, you can visit for more information.


About United Way: United Way of South Central Illinois is a non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of individuals and families in our community. Our mission is to mobilize resources and bring together partners to create lasting positive change. We strive to ensure that everyone in our community has access to the building blocks for a good quality of life. We focus on health, education, and financial stability, as these are critical areas that affect the overall well-being of individuals and families. Our goal is to empower individuals to understand the services and programs we offer and how they can benefit from them.  Our main focus is on fostering collaboration among community partners, leveraging resources, and implementing sustainable solutions to address the most pressing needs in our area. United Way of South Central Illinois is dedicated to making a positive impact on our community by providing resources, funding programs, and advocating for policies that enhance the lives of those we serve. Together, we can create a stronger, healthier, and more equitable community for all.

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