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United Way Begins Management And Oversight Of Orange County’s Emergency Food & Shelter Program

United Way Begins Management And Oversight Of Orange County’s Emergency Food & Shelter Program

Federally funded program aligns with United Way’s ten-year FACE 2024 Communitywide Action Plan, in fight against hunger and homelessness

IRVINE, CA – Orange County United Way announced today it has begun managing the county’s $1.2 million Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), designed to supplement private donations to basic-needs non-profit organizations.

The program, established by Congress in 1983 to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the U.S., apportions federal funds for the provision of food and shelter for families and individuals at the local level. Local boards within targeted jurisdictions then determine how those funds will be allocated.

United Way will work with and provide expert guidance to Orange County’s EFSP Board in making funding allocations in the following areas:

  • Food, in the form of served meals or groceries
  • Lodging in a mass shelter or hotel
  • One month’s rent or mortgage payment
  • One month’s utility bill

“We have been actively engaged on the front lines in the battle against hunger and housing insecurity through our FACE 2024 community-wide action plan,” explained Carla Vargas, Chief Operating Officer for Orange County United Way. “We’re ideally positioned to manage this program and have the expertise the OCEFSP Board needs to make the most impactful and informed decisions.”

Jeff Dronkers, a 20-year veteran in managing hunger and human services programs, has been contracted by United Way to oversee the program working directly with the OCEFSP Board. Prior to this position, Dronkers served in key roles with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and Food Share Inc. in Oxnard, CA.

This collaborative effort will ensure that fund allocations meet their targets and adhere to standards and policies outlined by the National EFSP Board to support members of the community in crisis.

For more information about the Orange County Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), United Way’s FACE 2024 community-wide action plan or other vital initiatives, please visit the Orange County United Way website.


Katherine Ransom, Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Orange County United Way 949.263.6176, katheriner@unitedwayoc.org

Michael Suydam
21Strat 949.981.5008, mike@21strat.com


Since 1924, Orange County United Way has been working to improve lives and strengthen our community by mobilizing the caring power of Orange County, by focusing on the building blocks for a good quality of life: Education, Income, Health and Housing. By investing in Orange County’s children, families and individuals, we help them create pathways to self-sufficient futures through education and training. In short, we help people help themselves. Through our 10-year community-wide action plan “FACE 2024” (an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate), United Way is mobilizing local businesses, community organizations, governmental agencies and individuals to make a long-term measurable difference in the lives of local individuals and families. To learn more or to join our movement, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.

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