By Martin J. Kidston
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA, recently awarded Hill County $10,371 to help non-profit organizations in the area provide money for food and shelter to needy residents.
Diane Savasten, director of housing at the Human Resource Development Council of Hill County, said the money was awarded by the Emergency Food and Shelter programs, which is designed to offer non-disaster relief for emergency needs, such as housing and food.
"Any area non-profit group can apply for those funds," Savasten said. "This is the 18th year we've received the money."
Last year, Savasten said, the funds were given to Golden Triangle Mental Health, The Salvational Army, the Feed My Sheep food kitchen and the Havre Food Bank, among others.
"This award is extremely important," Savasten said. "It fills the gaps for homeless people who come to town and need shelter and food.
We definitely have a need."
Savasten said the money provided 730 meals at Havre's soup kitchen last year.
Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), said in a press release that Montana counties received a total of $429,000 under the program. The money helps provide supplemental funding to shelters, soup kitchens and food banks, along with rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs.
"Whenever a child goes hungry, or a family goes without shelter, it's an emergency," Baucus said.