What is the Emergency Food and Shelter Program?
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was created in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, in an effort to help people with economic emergencies (not disaster-related e.g. fires of any kind, floods, tornados, etc.) emergencies. Therefore, EFSP funds are not to be used to provide emergency assistance for circumstances that are the immediate result of a disaster situation. EFSP funds may be used to provide economic assistance in the long term, even if the current circumstances may have been impacted by earlier disaster occurrence. The EFSP funding is open to all organizations helping hungry and homeless people. EFSP funds must be used to supplement feeding, sheltering (including transitional sheltering) and rent/mortgage and utility assistance efforts only. Since 1983, the EFSP has distributed $3.604 billion to over 12,800 human service agencies in more than 2,500 communities in the country.
EFSP is governed by a National Board which is under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA), which selects jurisdictions for funding. Local Boards are convened in those qualifying jurisdictions to determine the highest need and best use of funds and to select Local Recipient Organizations (LROs) that will provide emergency food and shelter services. Each year needs to be assessed in order to respond to changes in the community.
Who can apply?
Eligible applicants must: 1) be nonprofit; 2) be eligible to receive federal funds; 3) have an accounting system or an approved fiscal agent; 4) conduct an annual audit if awarded $25,000 or more in federal funds; 5) practice non-discrimination; 6) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and shelter services; 7) have a voluntary board; 8)have the capacity to either chargeback or expend funding during the jurisdiction’s selected spending period; 9) must be able to completely and accurately obtain, retain and submit required documentation with reports; use DocuSign and online reporting.