Wilkes County has been awarded a federal grant of $21,953 to help fund emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The allocation was approved by a board established under auspices of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consisting of representatives of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, Salvation Army, United Jewish Communities and United Way of America.

A local board will determine how the funds are distributed among emergency food and shelter programs in Wilkes County.

The local board consists of representatives of Wilkes County government, United Way of Wilkes, Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission, American Red Cross and local churches and health/human service organizations. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the federal grant, to be eligible for portions of the funds, local agencies must:

• be private voluntary non-profits or units of government;

• have an accounting system;

• practice nondiscrimination;

• have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs;

• have a voluntary board if the entity is a private voluntary organization.

A spokesman for the local board said qualifying agencies are urged to apply for portions of the funds.

Last year, the federal emergency food and shelter funds were distributed to the Catherine Barber Memorial Homeless Shelter, Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission and Samaritan’s Kitchen.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for portions of the funds must contact Clara Hickman at the United Way of Wilkes County at 336-651-7803 for an application. The deadline for applications is Feb. 10.

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