The Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP) National Board does not provide direct client assistance. Direct assistance is provided through a variety of resources, which may include EFSP funding in your community.
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program began in 1983 with a $50 million federal appropriation. The program was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter.
The program is governed by a National Board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The Board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
During its 39 years of operation, the program disbursed over $5.953 billion to over 14,000 local providers in more than 2,500 counties and cities.
EFSP Guiding Principles are:
- Efficiency—fiscal administration, reporting, and procedural guidance to Local Boards and LROs
- Accountability—good steward of taxpayers’ dollars through reasonable oversight and transparency
- Responsiveness—prioritize the allocation of supplemental funds to the neediest areas in the nation
- Partnership—promote and strengthen collaboration between non-profit organizations and public sector
- Facilitating—maximizing appropriate local decision-making through clear guidance and training
How Are Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funds Used?
Program funds are used to provide the following, as determined by the Local Board in funded jurisdictions:
- 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.
- Equipment necessary to feed or shelter people, up to a $300 limit per item.
How Does My Agency or Organization Apply?
When a jurisdiction is funded, the Local Board must advertise the availability of funds. Local organizations, whether nonprofit or governmental, may apply. The Local Board is responsible for considering all applications, and for determining which organizations will receive funds. The Local Board also determines which services are funded. There is no national application process.
All agencies applying for EFSP funds must provide their DUNS number and FEIN in their applications. Failure to provide these numbers will prevent or delay the release of funds to agencies if they are awarded by the Local Board. The numbers may be obtained, as follows:
• Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number.
DUNS numbers are issued by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) at no cost. Link to Apply for DUNS https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/get-a-duns.html
• Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) - FEIN numbers are issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at no cost. Link for FEIN - www.irs.gov