Every year, federal funds ranging from $612,000 to $625,000 come through FEMA to support food and shelter programs in Allegheny County, with about half the funds going to each category. Rich Venezia of the Department of Human Services says this year's allocation is not yet known, but the need is greater than ever because foreclosures, unemployment, and food prices are all on the rise. He says the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is having a hard time keeping up with the needs of the 200-plus food pantries it supplies.
Any non-profit agency in Allegheny County can apply for funds through the United Way. The County Volunteer Board considers about 35 to 40 applications a year.