EFSP grants are awarded to community organizations usually on an annual basis. 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 local program is led by the United Way of Rockland County. During its 39 years of operation, the program disbursed over $5.67 billion to over 14,000 local providers in more than 2,500 counties and cities with Rockland County being one of the recipients.

The intent of the EFSP program is to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food and supportive services for the nation’s hungry, homeless and people in economic crisis.

EFSP Guiding Principles are:

  • Efficiency—fiscal administration, reporting and procedural guidance to Local Boards and 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

How Are Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funds Used?

Program funds are used to provide the following, as determined by the Local Board in funded jurisdictions:

  • Food, in the form of served meals or groceries.
  • Lodging in a mass shelter or hotel.
  • One month’s rent or mortgage payment.
  • One month’s utility bill.
  • Equipment necessary to feed or shelter people, up to a $300 limit per item.

If you are a local food pantry or shelter interested in participating in this program, contact info@uwrc.org or (845) 358-8929 to learn more.