Emergency Food and Shelter Program

The purpose of the Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP) program is to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, in an effort to assist people experiencing severe economic crisis that is not the immediate result of a natural or man-made disaster situation.

EFSP is a Federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and has been entrusted through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 (PL 100-77) “to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food and supportive services” for hungry and homeless people across the nation.

The program objectives are:

  • To allocate funds to the neediest areas
  • To ensure fast response
  • To foster public-private sector partnerships
  • To ensure local decision-making
  • To maintain minimal, but accountable, reporting

EFSP National Board

A National Board, chaired by FEMA, with representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.; Salvation Army; United Jewish Communities; and United Way Worldwide, governs the EFSP.

United Way Worldwide serves as the fiscal agent for the EFSP and its staff is housed in United Way Worldwide headquarters. For more information about the EFSP National Board, please visit www.efsp.unitedway.org.

Emergency Food and Shelter Program
National Board
United Way Worldwide
701 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 310
Alexandria, VA 22314-2064
Tel. 703.706.9660
Fax. 703.706.9677


The Emergency Food and Shelter Program has an open competitive application process.

Criteria for a local agency to be eligible for funding it must: 

  • Be a private voluntary nonprofit or unit of government;
  • Be eligible to receive Federal funds;
  • Have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN);
  • Have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number;
  • Have an accounting system or fiscal agent;
  • Practice nondiscrimination;
  • Have demonstrated capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and
  • Have a voluntary board.


  • Mass Shelter – (5-beds or more)
    Per Diem Allowance $12.50 per person
  • Rental / Mortgage
    One Month Amount of Rent or Mortgage
  • Utilities
    Gas, Electric, Water, Propane
  • Served Meal / Mass Feeding
    Per Meal Allowance $2.00 per meal
  • Other Shelter
    Hotel / Motel lodging
  • Other Foods
    Food Pantries, Food Banks, Food Gift Cards, Vouchers

Formal applications for Phase 35 can be accessed here.

The deadline to submit Phase 35 applications will be Monday, June 4, 2018.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the EFSP application process, please contact us at impact@unitedwaynwla.org or 318-677-2504 ext. 132.