The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)

EFSP is a restricted federal grant that was created in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, to help people with economic emergencies. The EFSP funding is open to all organizations helping hungry and homeless people. This funding is meant to supplement and expand current resources and is not to be budgeted. EFSP funds must be used to supplement feeding, sheltering (including transitional sheltering) and rent/mortgage and utility assistance efforts only. 

EFSP Phase 38

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) National Board has made Phase 38 (FY2020) allocations available to qualifying jurisdictions. Lancaster County has been chosen to receive federal funds in the amount of $251,200 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

A Local Board made up of local representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Salvation Army; The Jewish Federations of North America; United Way Worldwide; local government; and, various county organizations, will determine how the funds awarded to Lancaster County are to be distributed among local emergency food and shelter programs. The Local Board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under each phase of the Program.

For Lancaster County, the Local Board has determined that the priorities for the allocation of these funds are:

Rent/mortgage assistance (eviction prevention)

Emergency shelter programs (not transitional)

Mass feeding programs

Utility assistance

The time frame for eligible expenses for Phase 38 is from January 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.

Any eligible nonprofit, faith-based or local government agency that provides food and shelter services may apply for funds.  Current or former EFSP participation is not a requirement. To be eligible to apply for this funding opportunity, an organization must:

Be a 501(c)3 non-profit or agency of government located in Lancaster County, PA

Be eligible to receive Federal funds

Have an accounting annual audit or financial review conducted each year in accordance with Government          Auditing Standards

Have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

Have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS)

Practice non-discrimination

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

Have a voluntary board

Eligible organizations can request funding amounts up to $50,000 for Phase 38. All EFSP funding decisions are made by the EFSP Local Board. This funding is meant to supplement and expand current resources and not to be budgeted.

For more information on this funding opportunity, please send inquiries to grants@uwlanc.org.




All potential applicants must complete a Request for Proposal (RFP), which will be evaluated by the EFSP Local Board. Please note: If you do not complete the RFP, you will be ineligible for EFSP funding.

RFPs will open Monday, January 4, 2021, and are due 5:00p.m. EST, Thursday, January 21, 2021.

Click HERE to download the RFP instructions and application for Phase 38.

Additional RFP Documents:

Applicants will be notified of the Local Board’s funding decisions once the Local Board Funding Plan has been submitted to the EFSP National Board on or about Friday, February 5, 2021.


Click on each category below to view eligible funding allowances and expenses.

Click here to view examples of Sample Eligible and Ineligible Expenses.

For more information, please send inquiries to grants@uwlanc.org.