A small pot of federal money is available to local organizations offering emergency food and shelter services to Del Norte County residents, but the deadline to apply for it is Thursday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program is offering $12,763 to Del Norte County this year. The funding can be used for emergency shelter and to help families or individuals pay back rent, security deposits or utilities, said Amber Weston, of the Del Norte County Senior Center. But it’s primarily used for food locally, she said. The deadline for local organizations to apply is 4 p.m. Thursday. On Friday, the local board will begin determining who should get the funding, Weston said.

“All we’re waiting on is for people to get applications to me,” she said. “I haven’t received any and (I) only received two applications last year and we gave funding to each of them.” Established in 1983, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program consists of a national board that includes representatives of FEMA, the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, the Jewish Federations of North America, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, the Salvation Army and the United Way.

Since its inception the EFSP has distributed $4.4 billion to more than 14,000 agencies nationwide. However, according to Weston, the national board uses a formula based on a community’s unemployment and poverty statistics to determine how to allocate the money. Large cities like Los Angeles, with its sizable homeless population, receives more money, she said.

Last year, Del Norte County received $12,529. Those funds were allocated to the Harrington House and to the Crescent City Seventh Day Adventist Church, Weston said. According to a press release on the Del Norte Community Food Council’s website, the Harrington House, a local domestic violence prevention program, received $2,000, while the church’s food program, DORCAS, received $10,529

According to Weston, any organization interested in receiving a portion of the dollars set aside for Del Norte should fill out an application by emailing aweston@dnsc1.org. For more information about the FEMA EFSP program, visit www.efsp.unitedway.org.