FEMA Announces $510 Million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program

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Release Date:
March 12, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Today, FEMA announced that $510 million in supplemental funding will be made available to the Emergency Food and Shelter Program  to assist organizations in communities across the country dedicated to providing food, shelter and supportive services to people with economic emergencies, including our nation's hungry and homeless populations.

Available through the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” $400 million is for local social service organizations aiding our nation’s hungry and homeless. The additional $110 million is for organizations providing humanitarian assistance to migrants from the southern border.

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was established to supplement and expand the ongoing work of local social service organizations, both nonprofit and governmental, to provide shelter, food and supportive services to individuals and families who are experiencing, or are at-risk of experiencing, hunger and homelessness.  FEMA chairs the National Board that consists of representatives from several nonprofit organizations.

Program funds help people with economic, not disaster-related, emergencies. Funds can be used for a broad range of services, including: mass sheltering; mass feeding; assistance to food pantries and food banks; payment of one month’s utility bills to prevent loss of services; payment of one-month’s rent or mortgage to prevent eviction or foreclosure; and transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions.

Local nonprofit, faith-based and governmental entities that provided these types of services in their communities are eligible to apply. Applications will be completed by local entities (including local government agencies) and submitted to the program’s local boards. State government facilities that provided eligible direct services will apply through their Emergency Food and Shelter Program state set-aside committee.

Additional information including local board and state set-aside committee contacts is available on the website . Organizations may also send an email request to suppfund@uww.unitedway.org or call at 703-706-9660 to obtain local board and state set-aside contact information.

All applications shall be evaluated competitively. Reimbursements addressing humanitarian needs such as life sustaining food and shelter expenses will be given priority. 

The supplemental $510 million is separate from the funding appropriated annually to the program. Congress previously appropriated $130 million in annual funding. That money will be distributed to agencies nationwide who provide services to those struggling with food insecurity and homelessness.

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