PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Sen. Jack Reed has secured nearly $2 million to assist Rhode Island’s non-profit organizations feed and shelter the homeless this winter.

The federal funds, made possible through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), will be used to supplement food, shelter and supportive services for the state’s homeless population, according to Reed.

“This federal funding will help feed the hungry, prevent struggling people from becoming homeless, and deliver essential services to those in need,” Reed said.

Reed said approximately $1.25 million will be set aside specifically for Providence County, while the remaining $725,000 will be distributed amongst other Rhode Island communities.

“Rhode Island has a lot of wonderful local non-profit organizations that have worked overtime throughout this pandemic to help deliver care, compassion, hope and vital assistance,” Reed continued. “This new infusion of federal funding will help them aid local residents. It will boost their ability to provide services to the community in areas of greatest need.”

United Way of Rhode Island is one of the non-profit organizations benefitting from the funding.

Larry Warner, United Way’s chief impact and equity officer, said the organization is grateful for “bringing desperately needed resources to the state of Rhode Island.”

“Every day, through our 2-1-1 helpline, we hear from Rhode Islanders who need help with food, shelter or utilities. In 2021, United Way received 114,168 calls from households seeking food,” Warner continued, describing the funding as “an essential tool to meet that challenge.”