Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) Grants

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Funds appropriated through CARES Act

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was appropriated supplemental funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in FY 2020 in the amount of $200 million.

Besides the CARES funding to respond to the COVID-19 impact on communities, the program was appropriated $120 million in FY 2019 and $125 million in FY 2020 annual appropriations.

The total of these three appropriations awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) / Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the National Board for the EFSP is $445 million.

Rock County has been chosen to receive $162,465 to supplement Emergency Food and Shelter programs (EFSP) in the county. The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide.

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 DUNS Number 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.

The Phase 37 & CARES EFSP grants have been awarded and this process is now closed.

Future EFSP Applicants

All agencies applying for EFSP funds must provide their DUNS 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:

  • Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number: DUNS numbers are issued by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) at no cost. Click to apply for DUNS
  • 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, but not limited to:

  • Food services, such as congregate meals or groceries;
  • Lodging in a mass shelter, or in a hotel/motel or other off-site shelter facility limited to 30-days assistance per individual or household;
  • One month rent or mortgage assistance to prevent eviction or foreclosure;
  • Utility assistance for one month of service for gas, electric and water service; and
  • Supplies, including but not limited to cleaning supplies and small equipment essential to feed or shelter people, not exceeding $300 per item.

The National EFSP Board has prepared a webinar, Overview and Guidance, Phases 37, 38 and CARES, Calendar Year 2020, to provide additional information to interested agencies. 

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