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Franklin County will get direct funding of over $156,000 to help local needs such as food and shelter shortages.

The Federal Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program awarded the funding, including $64,573 for ongoing community support through Phase 37 allocations and $92,063 through the CARES Act. United Way of Franklin County will administer the funds.

“These dollars are to be used for emergency food and shelter to benefit families in our community in need of assistance,” said Amy Hicks, United Way of Franklin County executive director. “The boost from CARES is a welcome surprise, coming at a time when the need is increasing dramatically.”

Read: Resources Available to Help Those Impacted by Coronavirus Crisis

The amount of funding is based on factors such as a county’s unemployment rate. Funding has increased because of the dramatic increase in unemployment in the past two months. In previous years, funding amounts have typically been close to $20,000 per year.

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“As our local agencies continue responding to the pandemic, they can use every little bit of help available,” Hicks said. “They are working tirelessly to meet community needs, but resources are depleting fairly quick as they serve more people than ever.”

United Way serves as Franklin County’s coordinator for the annual Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). A local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive the funding.

Grant requirements

The grant terms require local agencies who are chosen to receive funds to:

  • Demonstrate the capability to deliver ongoing daily provision of meals, ongoing shelter, or rent/utility assistance.
  • Be private voluntary non-profits or units of government.
  • Have an accounting system.
  • Practice non-discrimination.
  • If they are a voluntary organization, must have a volunteer board.

Eligible agencies should email [email protected] for more information and to apply by May 26. EFSP funds can only be used to supplement food and shelter services. They can’t be used as seed money for new programs. Agencies must also clarify if applying for one or both phases and fill out two separate applications.

The federal funding will be a lift for community to accompany the Franklin County Community Crisis Response & Recovery Fund, an ongoing local campaign organized by United Way. The crisis fund has dispersed over $50,000 to 14 local programs so far, primarily to food programs.

While the extra federal funds will be useful, donations to the local fund are still needed, Hicks said. The need is still great, especially to support more programs providing basic needs that do not qualify for EFSP.

“We know there are more challenges ahead as our community continues to navigate the pandemic,” Hicks said. “This crisis will impact our community for a long time, and United Way will continue to help our neighbors for as long as funds are sustained.”

Donations to the crisis fund can be made online at or by mailing a check to United Way of Franklin County, 182 S. Second St., Chambersburg, PA 17201. More information to get help and give back is available on the Franklin County COVID-19 Resources Hub at

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