Emergency Food & Shelter Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program [EFSP] is a program created by Congress in 1983 to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people through the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds, awarded through the Department of Homeland Security, for the provision of food and shelter.  The amount of funding the EFSP administers to communities throughout the nation is dependent on multiple factors, including the local unemployment rate. The United Way of West Ellis County administers the EFSP Local Board, #803400 for the Ellis County jurisdiction.

EFSP National Board:

Chair: Federal Emergency Management Agency – U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Secretariat and Fiscal Agent: United Way Worldwide

Members: National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; Catholic Charities USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; The Salvation Army; American Red Cross

During its 36 years of operation, the program has disbursed over $4.5 billion to over 14,000 local providers in more than 2,500 counties and cities.

EFSP Guiding Principles are:

Efficiency—fiscal administration, reporting and procedural guidance to Local Boards and Local Recipient Organizations [LROs]

Accountability—good steward of taxpayers’ dollars through reasonable oversight and transparency

Responsiveness—prioritize the allocation of supplemental funds to the neediest areas in the nation

Partnership—promote and strengthen collaboration between non-profit organizations and public sector

Facilitating—maximizing appropriate local decision-making through clear guidance and training


Ellis County Local Board

The local board is comprised of representatives from Waxahachie Ministerial Alliance, Ellis County Homeless Coalition, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Ellis County Emergency Preparedness, American Red Cross, Council of Churches, Jewish Federations, Community Coalitions, Food Bank, Greater Ennis United Way and United Way of West Ellis County.

The EFSP Local Board’s responsibility is to:

Consider all private voluntary and public organizations currently providing or capable of providing emergency food and shelter programs.

Select and recommend which local organizations should receive funding and the amounts of the funding awards.

Advertise the availability of funds.

Establish priorities among community needs.

Award funds to nonprofit and government emergency food and shelter agencies.

Monitor program compliance to Rules and Regulations set forth by the National EFSP Board.



Local Notifications

April 2024 - Phase 41 Announcement

Jan 2023 - Phase 40 Announcement

Feb 2022 - Phase ARPA Announcement

Jan 2022 - Phase 39 Announcement

Dec 2020 - Phase 38

Phase 37 & Phase CARES Announcement

May 2020 - Phase 37 & Phase Cares


Local Recipient Organizations Requirements:

Be private, not for profit agencies or units of government.

Be eligible to receive Federal funds by having a Data Universal Numbering System [DUNS] number and Federal Employer Identification Number [FEIN]

Have an accounting system.

Practice non-discrimination.

Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.

Have an active volunteer board of directors.



Phase 41 applications and funding were reviewed/dispersed in April 2024. Phase 42 information will be released in late 2024 or early 2025. 



    For an overview of EFSP, click here.
    For more information about EFSP,  visit efsp.unitedway.org