FEMA has announced that the National Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) allocated $530 million to jurisdictions (counties and cities) across the country to assist our nation’s hungry and homeless populations.
Congress appropriated $130 million through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and $400 million through Section 4007 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to the EFSP. The program’s National Board will distribute the funds to local organizations dedicated to feeding, sheltering and providing critical resources to people with economic emergencies. These funds are for people with non-disaster related emergencies and can be used for a broad range of services, including mass shelter, mass feeding, food pantries and food banks, utility bill payments to prevent cut-offs, rent/mortgage payments to prevent evictions/foreclosures and transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions. The $400 million in supplemental funding was provided by Congress to specifically address the continuing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Board is chaired by FEMA with representatives from 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. United Way Worldwide, selected by the National Board as its secretariat and fiscal agent, is also responsible for the EFSP’s daily administration, in alignment with federal requirements and National Board governance.
EFSP funding is allocated to qualifying local jurisdictions based on a formula using the most recent national population, unemployment, and poverty data. Grants are then awarded by local boards to nonprofit and government organizations that provide direct services to those in need in their communities. All applications are evaluated competitively. With this FY 2021 annual and supplemental funding, the total aid disbursed in the EFSP’s 39-year history will be more than $5.6 billion.
A state-by-state list of the eligible jurisdictions and award amounts is available at www.efsp.unitedway.org.