Douglas County organizations providing emergency food and shelter will receive a boost in the form of federal dollars — $20,521 in Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding and another $29,000 in CARES Act funding.
A local board met May 26 to determine distribution of the funds, according to Dan Williams, executive director of the American Red Cross Serving Northern Minnesota.
The one-year funding includes: $12,500 to the Salvation Army for food, $12,021 for Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency for food and shelter; $9,850 to Catholic Community Services for rent and mortgage assistance; $13,657 to Faith United Methodist Church for food and shelter and $1,750 to the University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjacket Food Pantry.
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Williams said the amount of funding allocated to each county is based primarily on unemployment numbers. Douglas County's unemployment rate for April was 23.3%, according to preliminary data released May 27 by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. It was a huge jump from March's unemployment rate of 5.2% and dropped Douglas County's rank to 68 out of 72 counties.
The federal funds are an important supplement to the funding needed by local agencies to do their work, Williams said, and there is no more vital time than now to donate to local nonprofits that make a difference in the community.