Emergency Food and Shelter Program


The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was established in 1983, with the signing of the “Jobs Stimulus Bill,” Public Law 98-8.  That legislation created a National Board, chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that consisted of representative 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.

Unlike FEMA’s better-known disaster assistance programs, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds are designed to supplement and expand the ongoing work of local social service organizations, both nonprofit and governmental.  The funding is awarded based upon the needs of the community, using federal data on population, poverty, food insecurity and other economic and social factors for each parish.

Grants are available and will be awarded for the following services:

  • Mass Shelter
  • Mass Feeding
  • Other Food
  • Rent/Mortgage Assistance
  • Utility Assistance
  • Temporary Housing


Under the terms set forth by the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive Federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.  Locally, the United Way of Northwest Louisiana serves as the administrator of the Emergency Food and Shelter program for Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto and Natchitoches Parishes.

Currently, $227,630 is available for Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto and Natchitoches parishes.  Applications are now being accepted.  The deadline for applications to be received is July 24, 2017.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the EFSP application process, please contact Lynn Stevens at lynn@unitedwaynwla.org or 318-677-2504.