Emergency Food and Shelter Program

EFSP Phase 36 Funds available

June 14, 2019

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) has allocated $178,619 to supplement emergency food programs in Benton and Franklin Counties during Phase 36 (2/1/2019 - 12/31/2019).

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

  • Be a 501(c)(3) non-profit or agency of government 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 programs
  • Have a voluntary board if private, not-for-profit

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

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 the Other Food and Other Shelter categories. The Other 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 Other 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. Other Shelter category allocations will not exceed 15% of the total amount awarded to each of the local jurisdictions (Benton County, WA and Franklin County, WA). EFSP funds are distributed on a reimbursement basis and require specific documentation for proof of purchase. The Phase 36 Funding Cycle is retroactive to February 1, 2019, which means eligible expenses dated February 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 can be reimbursed using EFSP funds with documented proof of purchase.

Eligible items in Other 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 Other 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 36 is now open.

Phase 36 Funding Cycle: 2/1/2019 - 12/31/2019

Application Window: Open

Next Funding Cycle (Phase 37): 1/1/2020 - 12/31/2020 (estimated)

What is EFSP?

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 2018 (Phase 35), more than $164,000 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 509-783-4102.

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