EFSP Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)

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 34 years of operation, the program disbursed over $3.7 billion to over 13,000 local providers in more than 2,500 counties and cities.



How Are EFSP Funds Used?

Program funds provide the following, as determined by a Local Board in funded jurisdictions:

  • Food, in the form of served meals or groceries.
  • Lodging in a mass shelter or hotel.
  • One month's rent or mortgage payment.
  • One month's utility bill.
  • Equipment necessary to feed or shelter people,

How Does My Agency Apply

When a jurisdiction is funded, the Local Board will advertise the availability of funds. Local organizations, whether nonprofit or governmental, may apply. The Local Board is responsible for considering all applications, and for determining which organizations will receive funds. Contact the United Way at 406-752-7266 for an application.