Maricopa County EFSP




WHEAT staffs and administers the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) in Maricopa County, as well as the Arizona State Set-Aside Committee.  Visit the local site for more information at EFSP Maricopa County Local Board

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.  The funding is made available to local jurisdictions by a National Board that is chaired by a FEMA representative with national representatives from the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities USA, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, and United Way of America.

When a jurisdiction (Maricopa County) is funded, the Local Board must advertise the availability of funds. Local organizations, whether nonprofit or governmental, may apply. The Maricopa County Board is made up of representatives reflecting the National Board and solicits proposals through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process from qualifying organizations and then determines how funds allocated to Maricopa County by the National Board are to be distributed.

The Local Board is responsible for considering all applications, and for determining which organizations will receive funds. The Local Board also determines which services are funded. There is no national application process.

Once a Local Board Plan is submitted and approved for allocation of funds, funding passes directly from the National EFSP program to the local agencies that are awarded funding through the Local process.

Local Recipient Organizations chosen to receive funds must be private voluntary non-profits (with a voluntary board) or units of government; have an accounting system; practice non-discrimination; have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.  All qualified organizations are urged to apply when funding is made available through a local RFP process.

How Are Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funds Used?

Program funds are used to provide the following in Maricopa County:

  • Food, in the form of served meals and food boxes.
  • Lodging in a mass shelter.
  • One month’s rent payment for first month’s or late month’s rent.

EFSP Agency Eligibility Criteria

  1. The organization must be a non-profit, 501(c)(3) or an agency of government;
  2. The organization must have an accounting system and conduct an  independent annual audit;
  3. The organization must practice non-discrimination;
  4. If a religious organization, the organizations agrees not to refuse services to an applicant based upon religion; requiring attendance  at religious services; and engaging in any religious proselytizing in any program receiving EFSP funds;
  5. If the organization is a private voluntary organization it must have a voluntary board;
  6. The agency must be handicap accessible.

All qualified organizations are urged to apply when funding is made available through the local RFP process.

When an EFSP Request For Proposals process is open, there will be an announcement on this website and also in local newspapers. Please follow the directions in the announcement to begin the application process.

To be alerted via email on RFP openings in the future, please send an email to, with ADD TO EFSP INFO LIST, in the Subject Line.