Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) Grants

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Phase 40 Announced

Rock County has been awarded $66,920 under the national Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) through the Department of Homeland Security (Phase 40).

The Local Board is charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country. Rock County’s Local Board of the EFSP is facilitated by Mary Fanning-Penny, President & CEO of United Way Blackhawk Region and consists of representatives from the faith community, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, ECHO, Family Services of S.W.A.N.I., Rock County government, and Salvation Army.

The Local Board is also responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program. Under the terms of the grant, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

  1. Be private, voluntary nonprofits with a voluntary board or units of government;
  2. Be eligible to receive federal funds (past EFSP participation is not a requirement);
  3. Have a UEI and a FEIN;
  4. Maintain a checking account in the organization’s name for EFSP deposits;
  5. Pay vendors directly within 90 days for services provided;
  6. Practice non-discrimination;
  7. Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.

EFSP Applicants

All agencies applying for EFSP funds must provide their UEI number and FEIN in their applications. Failure to provide these numbers will prevent or delay the release of funds to agencies. The numbers may be obtained, as follows:

  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) Number: UEI numbers are issued at SAM.gov.
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN): FEIN numbers are issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at no cost. Learn how to apply for a FEIN online.


Any nonprofit, faith-based or local government agency that provides food and shelter services may apply for funds. Current or former EFSP participation is not required for participation.

EFSP funds must be used to supplement food and shelter services and may not be used as seed money for new programs. Agencies may receive funds to provide food, shelter and supportive services, including:

  • SERVED MEALS – This category pertains to basic, nutritional, hot, or cold prepared meals that are served by the LRO or delivered to clients. Food costs for meals served in a shelter should be included here. The per meal rate of $3.00 may be used for agencies serving congregate meals.
  • OTHER FOOD – This category includes food vouchers for food orders, food boxes, or food purchased by food banks and food pantries. Diapers and feminine hygiene purchases are to be reported in the “Supplies/Equipment” category.
  • MASS SHELTER (on-site) – This category pertains to LROs that will use funds to provide shelter within their own facility. Diapers and feminine hygiene purchases are to be reported in the “Supplies/Equipment” category. Food served in a shelter is not included here. LROs may use a per diem rate of $12.50, as approved by the Local Board, for housing clients in their facility. The rate must be selected at the beginning of the Phase and used for all mass shelter expenditures. The per diem rate includes supplies purchased by the LRO.
  • OTHER SHELTER – This category pertains to LROs that will use funds to provide shelter outside of their own facility (motel, SRO, other nonEFSP funded shelter). LROs may provide up to 90 days of assistance for clients if it is necessary to prevent homelessness. Local Board may approve the payments, no additional approval is required by the National Board.
  • SUPPLIES/EQUIPMENT – This category includes any essential supplies and equipment, such as personal protective equipment, diapers and feminine hygiene products, purchased for use in a mass feeding or sheltering facility or for use by food banks/food pantries. Maximum expenditure is $300 per item. The per meal or per diem rates include supplies/equipment purchases; LROs cannot make separate purchases in the supplies and equipment category.
  • BUILDING CODE REPAIRS/ACCESSIBILITY IMPROVEMENTS – This category includes expenditures for building code repairs or accessibility improvements of a mass shelter or mass feeding facility; record the full amount to be spent. Maximum expenditure in this category is $2,500.00. Both the National Board and Local Board must approve expenditures in advance (written). A building code citation is required.
  • RENT/MORTGAGE – This category pertains to LROs that will use funds to provide clients with rent/mortgage assistance (up to 3 months per client/family to maintain housing. Local Board may approve the payments; no additional approval is required by the National Board).
  • UTILITIES – This category pertains to LROs that will use funds to provide clients with utility assistance (up to 3 months per client/family/per utility to prevent disconnection of service. Local Board may approve the payments; no additional approval is required by the National Board).
  • PPE – This category pertains to personal protective equipment that may be needed to provide services to clients or for clients to receive services. PPE purchases is limited to 10% of an agency’s award.

The National EFSP Board has prepared a webinar, Overview and Guidance: Phase 40, to provide additional information to interested agencies.