St. Charles Herald-Guide

St. Charles Parish nets grant to help needy families

By Staff Report - April 11, 2007

In the ongoing effort to help needy citizens of St. Charles parish, a $35,234 grant has been awarded for emergency food and shelter needs, according to Timothy J. Vial, Chairman of the Local Emergency Food and Shelter Board.

"This is the 25th award the parish has received since 1984, bringing over $586,560 of direct assistance to needy parish residents," Vial said.

The grant was made possible by a national board made up of voluntary organizations and chaired by FEMA which distributes $151 million of Congress-appropriated money to expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

Vial said the emergency food and shelter board advertises for applicants of the grants, awarding who they feel meet the right criteria. The money is eventually used to help needy citizens buy groceries, pay utilizes or pay rent to help from being evicted, Vial said.

The two main groups who normally qualify and help distribute the grant are the St. Charles Social Concerns on the west bank of St. Charles Parish and the Department of Community Services located on the east bank

The local board will determine how the funds are awarded to local service organizations on April 30 at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Courthouse in Hahnville. Agencies must be nonprofit to be eligible for the grant and must also have an accounting system, be non-discriminatory and have the ability to run programs through a voluntary board.