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Emergency Food and Shelter Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is a FEMA-funded program authorized by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. The program supplements and expands ongoing work of local nonprofit and governmental social service organizations to provide shelter, food and supportive services to individuals and families who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, hunger and/or homelessness. The program may also receive funding to award to the National Board for distribution to local social service organizations that provide humanitarian relief to families and individuals encountered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

The EFSP National Board is the sole recipient of EFSP grant funds and establishes the program’s policies, procedures and guidelines. 

Fiscal Year 2023 Funding

The DHS Appropriations Act, 2023, appropriated $130 million to FEMA, which in turn awards the money to the EFSP National Board to support local social service organizations aiding our nation’s hungry and homeless.

Regular EFSP in Assisting People Nationwide

The EFSP National Board has developed a formula to allocate funding to qualified communities and groups throughout the country that assist residents in need. Factors considered in the formula are national population, unemployment and poverty rates.  

The National Board will allocate 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. 

Award recipients can also use EFSP funds for 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.  

Funds for Organizations Assisting Migrants

On Nov. 3, 2022, FEMA awarded $75 million in humanitarian relief funding to the EFSP National Board for distribution to local social service organizations assisting individuals and families encountered by the Department of Homeland Security.  

The 2023 Omnibus authorized $800 million to continue helping these service organizations and to create a new grant program, the Shelter and Services Program, for future assistance.  

Further updates about this funding and the new program will be provided in the next few weeks.  

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the ESFP-Humanitarian program are available here.

Additional Resources

Local boards and contacts can be found on the EFSP website under the Supplemental Funding Info tab. Applicants do not need to contact their local boards to submit applications but can contact their local boards for technical assistance and to ask questions.

For additional questions, contact EFSP staff at