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Emergency Food & Shelter Program

The purpose of the EFSP is to supplement and expand existing food and shelter services available in local communities. It is a needs-based program and program dollars must not be earmarked for particular clients. Funding is meant to serve and benefit the entire community. A complete copy of the annual program guidelines is available online at in the information section. 
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was established on March 24, 1983, with the signing of the "Jobs Stimulus Bill," Public Law 98-8. The EFSP was authorized under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (P.L. 100-77 signed into law on July 24, 1987, since renamed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and subsequently reauthorized under P.L. 100-628, signed into law on November 7, 1988). 
The program's objectives are to:
  • Allocate funds to the neediest areas;
  • Ensure fast response;
  • Foster public/private sector cooperation;
  • Ensure local decision-making; and
  • Maintain minimal, but accountable, reporting.


A National Board, chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), consists of representatives of the 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.
For more information about the EFSP National Board, please visit


Each civil jurisdiction (a county or city) funded by the Emergency Food and Shelter program must constitute a local Emergency Food and Shelter board. The board must be composed of representatives of the same organizations as those on the national board - with a local government official replacing the FEMA representative.

EFsp funding for agencies

  • DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF AGENCY APPLICATIONS IS: Tuesday, July 9, 2019, AT 1:00 PM. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Notice is hereby given to all interested parties that the Mercer County Local EFSP Board will accept applications from local agencies and/or organizations for funding of (1)emergency food, (2)shelter, (3)utilities, and (4)rent/mortgage assistance. Funding is for eligible agencies only, not individuals or families. This is not FEMA funding for disaster relief.
Please note: EFSP funding is only for eligible organizations, not for individuals or families. Do not call or apply unless you are an agency.
Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local government or private voluntary organizations chose to receive funds must: (1) be nonprofit, (2) have an accounting system, (3) practice nondiscrimination, (4) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and (5) if they are a voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.  Qualifying organizations are urged to apply. 
Please find the application below, fill out completely and submit via email by Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at 1:00 pm. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. 

For more information please contact

John Santana at or call 609-896-1912 ext. 4918