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Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP)

EFSP Funding History for Lancaster County

Phase 33 Phase 34 Phase 35 Phase 36 Phase 37 Phase CARES 
$186,167 $197,574 $208,089 $223,314 $208,117 $329,257 
Phase 38Phase 39 Phase ARPA-R Phase 40 Phase 41 Phase 42 
$251,000 $203,881 $630,148 $220,680 

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was created by Congress in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental. United Ways are responsible for the oversight and administration of the program. Grant funds are used to supplement meals, sheltering (including transitional sheltering), rent/mortgage, and utility assistance for existing food and shelter services. This allocation is made available through the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). United Way of Lancaster County partners with Lancaster Office of the Homelessness Coalition for program administration.



  • 501(c)3, non-profit agencies, or public agencies, providing food and/or shelter to homeless and low-income people,  
  • Agencies must not charge fees to clients for EFSP-funded services,  
  • Agencies must practice non-discrimination and not require religious participation,  
  • Agencies must be governed by a volunteer Board of Directors (except for government units),  
  • Agencies must have an annual accountant’s review if receiving from $50,000 to $99,999 in EFSP funds,  
  • Agencies must have an independent audit if receiving over $100,000 in EFSP funds,  
  • Agencies must capture client counts and submit required documentation and reports to the National Board, and 
  • Agencies must use other available funding resources in conjunction with EFSP. 
  • New for 2023: All non-governmental entities applying must have or agree to obtain a U.S. government issued Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) information can be found here

The National Board, chaired by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The National Board determines the local allocations.  

The Lancaster County EFSP Local Board is a co-led team of the United Way of Lancaster County and the Lancaster County Office for the Homelessness Coalition. This board is responsible for recommending agencies and distributing all funds made available under this program phase.  

Lancaster County anticipates receiving federal funds under the EFSP National Board program. The National Board will release the official announcement of the EFSP Phase 41 local awards shortly. The Local Board anticipates receiving $220,680 for Phase 41. 

During the past 35 phases, the Lancaster County EFSP Local Board has received more than $7 million. These funds have been used to support the great work of local organizations, helping people experiencing food insecurity and/or homelessness, such as Community Action Partnership, Clare House, CrossNet Ministries, Donegal Presbyterian Church, Elizabethtown Community Housing & Outreach Services (ECHOS), Ephrata Area Social Services (EASS), Hands Across the Street, Lancaster County Food Hub, Parish Resource Center, REAL Life Community Services, Tenfold, The Factory Ministries, Solanco Neighborhood Ministries, Spanish American Civic Association (SACA), and YWCA. 


Click on each category below to view eligible funding allowances and expenses. These funding allowances may change in future phase periods. Please utilize these documents for reference only until the official RFP for Phase 41 is released.

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

If you have any questions, please email EFSP Local Board Chairperson Deb Jones at

"During the 2021-2022 campaign Women United was proud to invest $60,000 in women's education and select Patients R Waiting and YWCA as the next round of grantees for the 2022-2023 campaign. Looking forward, we always welcome new members who are interested in serving on a committee to assist in planning events or review grant applications."

|Emily Schaeffer
Development Operations Manager