EFSP-FEMA Resources

About the Program
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.

During its 20 years of operation, the program disbursed over $2 billion to over 11,000 local providers in more than 2,500 counties and cities. The program's objectives are:

to allocate funds to the neediest areas to ensure fast response to foster public/private sector cooperation to ensure local decision making to maintain minimal, but accountable, reporting


How is the Program Governed Locally?
Locally, the program is a model of public-private cooperation. Each civil jurisdiction (a county or city) funded by the program must constitute a local board. The Local Board members elect their chair. Local boards may also have additional members, and, since 1993, local boards have been required to include a homeless or formerly homeless person as a member.

The National Board awards funds to jurisdictions based upon a formula; in addition, a small portion of the overall award is allocated by formula to state set-aside committees, who then allocate funds to jurisdictions based upon the criteria they feel is most appropriate.

Once an award is made by either the National Board or a state set-aside committee, local boards decide which agencies are to receive funds, and then those agencies are paid directly by the National Board. Within a jurisdiction, no more than 2% of the entire award may be used for administrative costs by the local board and agencies combined.

FEMA/EFSP Resources

  • Download the August 14, 2014 Press Release - Request for Proposals
  • Download the FEMA/EFSP Funding Application (Phase 32 applications due September 15, 2014)
  • The Indiana Association of United Ways (IAUW) hosts updated information for applicants as well as interested residents.
  • The National EFSP Program Website is the main portal for program participants.