Food banks and shelters throughout King County including Kent face budget cuts

Non-profits in King County that provide food and a place to sleep for those in need were dealt another budgetary blow last month when $1.2 million of funding from a national grant for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was cut.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Friday, August 12, 2011 4:04pm
  • News

Non-profits in King County that provide food and a place to sleep for those in need were dealt another budgetary blow last month when $1.2 million of funding from a national grant for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was cut.

Nearly three dozen different programs were affected by the cuts when the county failed to meet the applicable federal threshold for poverty and unemployment levels, including those in Maple Valley, Covington and Kent.

According to Lila Henderson, executive director for Maple Valley Food Bank, the organization lost $20,000 when the funding was cut, most of which went toward its eviction prevention program.

“It took us all by shock,” Henderson said. “We didn't think it could possibly happen.”

This loss of revenue came on the heels of an additional $18,00 in funding cuts from state and federal grants the food bank received.

At the moment, Henderson is reapplying for three state grants in order to offset the loss, but does not expect to receive much.

“It doesn't look hopeful,” she said. “I'm not sure it's going to work out.”

In the meantime, the South King County Food Coalition plans to apply to recover the food funding portions lost from the grant.

The $20,000 cut will also affect Covington, as MVFB provides services beyond the city limits of Maple Valley. However, there is still the Storehouse, which is run by a coalition of churches in Covington and housed at Covington Christian Fellowship, though it does not provide eviction prevention services like MVFB does.

“There's no other program (in the area),” Henderson said. “That's a huge concern.”

The Kent Food Bank and Emergency Services has suffered a 25 percent cut in food services, estimated to be around $23,000, according to Debbie Christian.

Catholic Community Services in Kent received $55,000 in funding through EFSP 2010 and is among the organizations which will lose its funding as a part of the grant reduction, according to information provided by Linda Peterson, division director of King County Community Services.

Susan Vaughn, regional chief of operations for CCS King County, stated the Kent center will lose $35,000 in emergency assistance vouchers and $6,500 for shelters.

The EFSP dollars are administered through United Way of King County in Seattle.

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