Emergency Food & Shelter Program funding in danger. You can help!

We really need your help TODAY! Please take a moment to contact your US Senators and Representatives about preserving federal funds that help meet the needs of the hungry and homeless across the country – including right here in Central Florida.  Congress is proposing to drastically cut this funding by as much as 50%!

You may know that Congress has yet to pass the any of the twelve Fiscal Year 2011 appropriation bills; and has instead passed a series of short-term continuing resolutions (CRs) to keep the government operating.  But you may not know is that this includes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act that provides funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP).

The current CR is set to expire on March 18th, and this week Congress will be debating and making decisions about legislation to fund federal programs for the rest of the fiscal year.  The legislation contains a 50% cut in funding for EFSP which, if passed, will have significant and severe consequences for those most in need – the hungry and homeless.

Though most of the Coalition’s resources come from the generosity of our community, we receive about $100,000 each year through the EFSP program.  The monies play a critical role in our ability to shelter and feed approximately 700 homeless men, women and children each night.  A reduction in funding would not only have a significant impact on our budget, but would remove $700,000 in aid from the entire Central Florida community.

We’ve made it easy for you. Here is a link to an electronic letter on the Heart of Florida United Way website that you can e-mail or print to be faxed (mail will be too slow) to your Congressional Representatives and Senators to 1) Highlight the importance of EFSP to our state and/or community and 2) Request they support funding of EFSP at current funding levels of $200 million.  Once you fill in the information and push send, the e-mail will go to your appropriate Congressman/woman and Senators.

You can also contact the members of the House and Senate Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee at http://appropriations.house.gov/ and http://appropriations.senate.gov/sc-homeland-security.cfm to let them know our community and others across the country cannot withstand the impact of such a drastic cut in homeless services funding.

This is part of a national grassroots movement to educate the members of the committees on the impact of such a severe cut in funding.  On behalf of the thousands of homeless men, women and children in central Florida, we thank you for your support!