Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP)



August 1, 2019:  (This is an update to the preliminary notice sent on July 2, 2019. The information herein is subject to change should new information become available regarding the Supplemental Appropriations Humanitarian Assistance grant to the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.)

The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act was signed into law on July 1, 2019. The Act provides humanitarian aid to the southern border, including $30 million for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). The $30million funding is to assist local communities that have been helping a significant influx of southern border migrants released from DHS custody. Specifically, funds shall be used to reimburse eligible nonprofit and government agencies that have expended funds on or after January 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020.

The National Board has determined that, initially, reimbursements will be made for direct food and shelter expenses. Any nonprofit or government agency may apply for funds, current or former EFSP participation is not a requisite for participation. Only agencies who can document expenditures made to deliver direct services to southern border migrants released from DHS custody will be considered to receive reimbursement for eligible services provided. Any agency that did not provide direct services from January 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019 in response to an influx of southern border migrants in their community who were released from DHS custody will not be considered to receive initial funds.

 Read a copy of the announcement.

Questions about the Process, contact WHEAT.



Preliminary Notice Regarding Supplemental Humanitarian Funding

July 2, 2019:  The recent $4.6 billion spending bill passed by Congress to send humanitarian aid to the southern border, includes $30 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA), to provide funding to local communities who have experienced a significant influx of southern border migrants released from DHS custody. Specifically, funds would be used to reimburse local service providers who have made, or will make, expenditures on or after January 1, 2019 through September 2020, in response to the increased demand for assistance in their communities. It is anticipated the funds will be awarded by FEMA to the National Board expeditiously as possible, after the President signs the bill.

To expedite processes and to inform all State Set-Aside (SSA) Committees and Local Boards of the funding, the National Board is sending this preliminary notice to advise of the potential funding opportunity and so that you may begin preparing your requests to the National Board. Once the funds for the southern border humanitarian response have been awarded to the National Board, it is expected that they will be disbursed quickly, within 60 days. The National Board will not set a formula to allocate the funds. Instead, they will require that SSA Committees and Local Boards in each state collaborate to determine need. SSA Committees will be required to submit a request for funding to the National Board by the deadline date that must include the following information to be considered complete:

  • Total amount of funds being requested for the state;
  • List of jurisdictions impacted by a significant influx of migrants released from DHS custody to receive funds and the amount of funding requested for each jurisdiction (should equal the total request from the state);
  • Justification to support the amount requested for each jurisdiction listed, detail regarding the need in each of the jurisdictions listed to receive funds (Local Recipient Organizations [LROs] that have made expenditures beginning January 1, 2019 and are requesting reimbursement must be listed), please include the total spent by each LRO and the types of services provided. The initial payments will be to reimburse local agencies for expenditures they have made beginning January 1, 2019 to provide services to migrants released from DHS custody.
  • Any other pertinent information that you believe would be beneficial in support of the request.

Incomplete requests will not be processed until all information has been provided by the SSA Committee. The National Board will review the requests on a first come, first serve basis until the funds are depleted. Requests will be reviewed for eligibility, ensuring they are to reimburse for services provided beginning January 1, 2019 for migrants released from DHS custody. After reviewing requests, the National Board reserves the right to approve less than the amount requested by a SSA Committee. The funds are available to the National Board until September 30, 2020.

After the request from the SSA Committee has been reviewed and approved by the National Board, Local Board Plans will be sent to the jurisdictions. This too will be an expedited process. Keeping with EFSP guidelines, the availability of the funds will need to be advertised publicly to allow ALL local government and nonprofit organizations an opportunity to apply. To prevent the delay in the submission of the Local Board Plan to the National Board, Local Boards are encouraged to place the advertisement in the local newspaper immediately upon notice of funding from the National Board.

Local Boards will need to submit their spending plans as usual to the National Board. LROs will still have to sign the LRO Certification form via DocuSign. Staff will review the completed Local Board Plans to ensure all requirements have been met and if there are no concerns, payments will be released to the LROs.

To prevent delay in receipt of funds, LROs selected for funding should ensure their bank information is updated. Payments will be made in two equal installments. Local Boards and LROs should submit Interim Reports and Second Payment Requests via DocuSign, immediately after the first payment has been released.

Please note that EFSP program guidelines will have to be followed to ensure accountability and reporting. The National Board understands the urgency in releasing the funds; however, if a funded LRO has any outstanding compliance exceptions, they will need to resolve them before funds can be released.

It is expected the eligible services that local agencies may provide to clients would primarily be the same as those under annually appropriated funds. Consistent with current program guidance, eligible reimbursement for the supplemental funds may be for the following services:

  • Food, in the form of served meals or groceries;
  • Lodging in a mass shelter or hotel;
  • Transportation costs;
  • Supplies and equipment necessary to feed or shelter the increased numbers of people; and
  • Basic necessities, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, diapers, etc.

The National Board will use its current reporting and documentation process.  Program guidelines require Final Reports to be submitted after a jurisdiction’s spending period has ended. Local Boards and LROs will be required to submit Final Reports to the National Board within 45 days, after the last day of the jurisdiction’s spending period, which will be September 30, 2020 for this supplemental funding. Final Reports will be due on November 15, 2020. In addition to the Final Report, all agencies must submit spreadsheets for all expenditures made with funding. As necessary, copies of expenditure documentation may be requested. When reviewing Final Reports, if compliance exceptions are identified, LROs with exceptions will have to resolve them or return the funds to the National Board.

SSA Committees and Local Boards are encouraged to begin communicating about the potential funds that may be awarded to their communities and to gather the necessary information to submit a request to the National Board for consideration.  Remember, funds will be allocated to State Set-Aside Committees on a first come, first served basis until depleted.


Request for Proposals for Possible Funding to Supplement Emergency Food and Shelter Programs in Apache, Maricopa & Navajo Counties Is Announced

Phoenix, AZ, January 22, 2019 – The Local Board of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) in Maricopa County and the Arizona State Set Aside Committee acting on behalf of EFSP in Apache and Navajo Counties, is requesting proposals for possible funding to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in those counties for Phase 36. The amount of funding for Phase 36 is not known at this time.  The selection of jurisdictions receiving any awards is made by a national board chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and consists of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA, The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army, United Jewish Communities and United Way of America. Funding may be made available by a federal appropriation from Congress to the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

The Local Maricopa County EFSP Board and Arizona State Set Aside Committee will distribute any funds that may be received through this program that will expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in Apache, Maricopa & Navajo Counties.  The local board and committee, made up of local representatives of local government, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA, The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army, United Jewish Communities, the Native American Community, United Way of America, the Association of Arizona Food Banks and the Arizona Housing Coalition will determine how the possible  funds awarded to Apache, Maricopa & Navajo Counties are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The local board and committee are responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.  The WHEAT organization is acting as the administrative agency for the Local Maricopa County EFSP Board and the Arizona State Set Aside Committee in Phase 36.

Local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

  • be a 501 (c)(3) non-profit or a unit of government,
  • have an accounting system,
  • practice non-discrimination,
  • have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs
  • and if they are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, have a voluntary board.

The Local Maricopa County EFSP Board will consider the awarding of funds to local organizations for the following purposes:

  • Food, in the form of served meals or groceries (food boxes),
  • Shelter, in the form of lodging in a mass shelter or rental assistance for first month’s rent or late rent.

Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.  Individuals cannot apply for this funding.

Agencies interested in applying for funding in Phase 36 must email WHEAT at wheat@HungerHurts.org  for a Password and User ID to access the online application.  Applications are submitted via an online system and will be available on Monday, February 4, 2019.   Applicants new to the process will need to attend an orientation on the funding and application process prior to applying.  The deadline for applications to be received is Friday, February 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm. 

Questions concerning this process may be directed to WHEAT by email wheat@HungerHurts.org or by telephone at 602-955-5076.


WHEAT  (www.HungerHurts.org) is a statewide anti-hunger organization staffing the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for Apache, Maricopa & Navajo Counties.


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 info@efsp-maricopa.org, with ADD TO EFSP INFO LIST, in the Subject Line.