FEMA announced that the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) National Board will allocate $200 million to communities across the country to assist organizations providing critical resources to people with economic emergencies, including our nation’s hungry and homeless populations.
These funds were appropriated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to ease financial hardship caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Funding will go to organizations dedicated to feeding, sheltering, and providing critical resources to people experiencing, or at-risk of experiencing, hunger and homelessness. In addition to the $200 million supplemental funding from the CARES Act, Congress also appropriated $120 million in FY 2019 annual funding to the EFSP. The funding, totaling $320 million, will be distributed beginning in early June 2020 to human service organizations assisting those in need throughout the country.
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. The National Board administers the program, establishing its policies, procedures, and guidelines. United Way Worldwide, selected by the National Board to serve as its Secretariat and Fiscal Agent, carries out the work of the EFSP daily.
EFSP funding is allocated to qualifying local jurisdictions (counties and cities) based on a formula using the most recent national population, unemployment, and poverty data. Each funded jurisdiction establishes a Local Board that awards the grant funds to local social service organizations, both nonprofit and governmental, that can best address the identified needs of the community. With the FY 2019 and CARES Act funding, and the FY 2020 funding of $125 million that is to be allocated to jurisdictions a couple months later, the total aid disbursed in the EFSP’s 38-year history will be more than $5 billion.
A state-by-state list of the eligible jurisdictions and allocation amounts is available on the EFSP Website.