Emergency Food And Shelter Program

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Lori Pace

FEMA administers the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). This is a federally-funded program. It is not dependent on a Presidential declaration of major disaster. The EFSP funds are for funding a wide range of services for people who are not in disaster-related situations. The EFSP supports and expands the work of local social services organizations, both nonprofit and governmental, to provide shelter, food and support services to individuals, families and households that are experiencing or at risk from hunger and/or homelessness.

Structure And Administration For Emergency Food And Shelter Program

FEMA‘s EFSP National Board is solely responsible for the award of the EFSP grant. It establishes and maintains the program’s policies, procedures and guidelines. The National Board oversees the program and selects both cities and counties that have the greatest need for food and shelter assistance. They also determine the allocation amounts. The most recent poverty statistics, unemployment and national population are for devi the allocation formula. Local boards are decision-making bodies that must be convened by jurisdictions that are eligible for allocations. Local boards make award decisions for eligible programs and service providers.

Eligible For Emergency Food And Shelter Program Services 

Local public or private organizations may be eligible to receive EFSP funds for the following services:

  • You can either buy groceries or serve your own food.
  • Lodging in a shelter, hotel, motel, or other off-site shelter facility has limitation of 30 days assistance per household or individual.
  • Rent or mortgage assistance for one month to avoid eviction, foreclosure, and/or utility assistance
  • Transport costs for food and shelter.
  • Repairs for minor emergencies of small equipment. But, these equipment are essential to mass feeding and sheltering should not exceed $300 per item.
  • Not exceeding $2,500 for emergency repairs necessary to comply with building code citations pertaining to mass care feeding and sheltering facilities.
  • Less than $2,500 for expenses incurred to make mass feeding and sheltering facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Not exceeding $300 per item, supplies and small equipment necessary to shelter or feed people are acceptable.

Client Eligibility 

EFSP is a need-based program that allows clients – families, individuals and households – to apply for assistance. Clients seeking assistance may be eligible for assistance by local boards based on their eligibility for EFSP assistance. They may also need to meet established eligibility criteria for recipient organizations.

All EFSP assistance to clients must be provided:

  • No discrimination (age, race and sex, religions, national origin, disability economic status or sexual orientation).
  • Sensitivity to the transition from temporary shelters to permanent homes. Also, attention to the special needs of homeless people with mental or physical disabilities.
  • This program focuses on facilitation for homeless people to access other services and benefits.

Service fees are not allowed for EFSP assistance. Besides, eligibility cannot be conditional on participation or attendance at religious or counseling services.

Any Administrative Costs For Emergency Food And Shelter Program?

A jurisdiction can use up to 2 percent of its award for administrative purposes. Moreover, the administrative limit for State Set-Aside committees is 0.5%. The National Board can use up to 1% of the total allocation to cover its administrative costs.

What Is The Application Process for Agencies/Organizations?

Keep in mind the application process!

The Local Board must announce the funding availability when a jurisdiction is being funded. You can apply to local organizations, regardless of whether they are governmental or nonprofit. The Local Board reviews all applications and determines which organizations will be funded. The Local Board also decides to fund which services. Remember, there is no national application process.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!