Emergency Food and Shelter Program

EFSP Phase 37 and CARES ACT Funds available

May 4, 2020

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) has allocated $167,033 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in Benton and Franklin Counties during Phase 37. The EFSP Program has also allocated an additional $238,141 to Benton and Franklin Counties to combat the effects of COVID-19 under the recently passed CARES Act.

To be eligible to apply for this funding opportunity, an organization must:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) non-profit or agency in good standing with the IRS
  • Be eligible to receive Federal funds
  • Have an accounting system
  • Have a valid Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number issued by Dun & Bradstreet
  • Practice non-discrimination (agencies with a religious affiliation, will not refuse service to a client based on religion, nor engage in religious proselytizing or religious counseling in any program receiving Federal funds)
  • Have the capacity to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs
  • Have a voluntary board that meets at least quarterly

Eligible organizations may request up to a maximum of $50,000 per organization per phase.

EFSP funds must be used to supplement or expand existing resources. The local EFSP board for Benton and Franklin Counties has determined that the funds will be used only for food and temporary shelter. The food category is intended to allow agencies such as food pantries, food banks, and shelters to pay for the purchase of food items, food vouchers and food gift cards/certificates to assist in the feeding of eligible clients. The shelter category is intended to provide off-site emergency shelter assistance and is limited to 30 days assistance per individual or household during the current program period. EFSP funds are distributed on a reimbursement basis and require specific documentation for proof of purchase.

Eligible items in Food:

  • All food items
  • Diapers
  • Gift cards/certificates
  • Food vouchers
  • Boxes and plastic storage bags
  • Maintenance fees charged by food banks
  • Transportation costs for pickup and delivery of food, and for transporting clients to food distribution sites

Eligibility in Shelter includes:

  • Lodging charges from a hotel or motel
  • Lodging charges from a nonprofit facilitiy acting as a vendor
  • Lodging stays up to a total of 30 days
  • Local taxes added to the bill
  • Certain transportation costs

Click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions about the EFSP program


The application window for Phase 37 and CARES is now open. Applicants can use one application for both opportunities; awards will be made for both opportunities simultaneously. Applications must be submitted online no later than May 22, 2020 at 11:59pm. A link to the online portal can be found at the bottom of this page.


The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) 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 program is governed by a National Board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The national board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

During its 36 years of operation, the national program has disbursed over $4.4 billion to over 14,000 local providers in more than 2,500 counties and cities.

Funds from EFSP are distributed to each county in the United States based on its current population size, unemployment rate, and poverty rate.

United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties facilitates a local board of community volunteers who decide how the funds from EFSP are distributed within Benton and Franklin Counties each year.

In 2019 (Phase 36), more than $178,000 was distributed from EFSP to local food banks and crisis intervention centers in Benton and Franklin Counties to support emergency food for people in need.

For more information about EFSP, go to https://www.efsp.unitedway.org/efsp/website/index.cfm.


For more information about how to apply for EFSP funds in Benton and Franklin Counties, contact grants@uwbfco.org or call 509-581-3939.


e-CImpact Sign-In

e-CImpact is United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties's online system for managing its resource investment process annually. Through e-CImpact, Agencies will submit applications, and provide reports and accountability documents. Volunteers who participate on the Community Investment Review Teams and other funding review committees will also have electronic access to Agency and Program information to assist in their decision making.
If you are a United Way Agency, click HERE to enter.
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