Community Connection

United Way of the Midlands to Invest Nearly $500,000 in Emergency Food & Shelter Program Dollars in Douglas County

As a trusted steward of funds, United Way of the Midlands (UWM) is honored to announce it will be investing nearly $500,000 into Douglas County as part of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) operated through United Way Worldwide.

Established on March 24, 1983, with the signing of the “Jobs Stimulus Bill,” the EFSP legislation created a National Board – chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – that consisted of representatives from several large national charities including United Way Worldwide.

Since 1983, through this collaborative effort between the private and public sectors, the EFSP has distributed $5.953 billion to over 14,000 human service agencies in more than 2,500 communities across the country. The intention of EFSP funds is to provide rapid assistance to communities to support basic needs such as food purchases, safe shelter, supplies and equipment essential to providing immediate food and shelter, financial assistance and more.

Through the Phase 39 and ARPA-R dollars, UWM and the local board approved funding for eight local agencies at their full request. The agencies receiving funds are:


  • Heartland Family Services
  • Heart Ministry Center
  • Nebraska Diaper Bank
  • OHB
  • Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue
  • Somali Community Service
  • Together, Inc.
  • Whispering Roots

“This is a unique infusion of funds at a time when inflation and demand for services is at an all-time high. These agencies will be able to utilize their awards quickly in order to help keep our community safe, warm and fed through the harsh winter months to come,” said Shawna Forsberg, UWM president and CEO. “We are proud to partner with these agencies, programs and teams that work passionately to ensure these vital services make it directly to those who need it most.”

These investments reflect UWM’s continued commitment to essential needs, and ability to rapidly deploy resources where and when they are needed.  Within a six-week timeframe, the UWM team collected applications and convened a local board comprised of UWM staff, community stakeholders and subject matter experts to critically evaluate requests for funds.

Forming a Circle of Support

For more information about the impact of UWM’s community investments, click below: