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As of December 11, 2023, Lancaster County’s regional allocation and eligible spending period has not been released by the EFSP National Board. Applications are being accepted on the basis that we anticipate being awarded funds.

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 
$251,000 $203,881 $630,148 $220,680 TBD

Welcome to the Lancaster County 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).

The Lancaster County EFSP Local Board is a co-lead team of the United Way of Lancaster County and the Lancaster County Office for the Homelessness Coalition. The local board is comprised of representatives from local social service organizations, government entities, and community members is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any other additional funds made available under this phase of the program.  

Since the beginning of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, 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.


To be eligible for funds, applicants must at a minimum meet the following criteria outlined below:

  • 501(c)3, non-profit agency with a voluntary board or units of government in good standing to receive Federal funds that provide food and/or shelter to homeless and low-income people within Lancaster County. 
  • Demonstrate the capacity to and are already providing services under each category to which they are applying. 
  • Not charging fees to clients for the provision of EFSP-funded services.
  • Practice non-discrimination and not require religious participation in EFSP-funded services.  
  • Have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) Number and capacity to receive Electronic Funds from the National Board.  
  • Demonstrate other available funding resources to be utilized in conjunction with any EFSP award.

Required Documentation:

Additional Documentation:


Page Link 
Program Notations 
Served Meals Basic, nutritional, hot, or cold prepared meals that are served by the LRO or delivered to clients. Food costs for meals served in a shelter should be included here. The per meal rate of $3.00 may be used for agencies serving congregate meals.  Ineligible: Any items not related to the serving of food, pet foods and products, excessive snacks and sweets, and purchases for staff or holiday events/functions.  Note: Operational costs such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and staff salaries are included in the per meal allowance. 
Other Food This category includes food vouchers for food orders, food boxes, or food purchased by food banks and food pantries.  Ineligible: Paper and cleaning products, vitamins, tobacco, alcohol, excessive snacks and sweets, and purchases for staff or holiday events/functions. 
Mass Shelter For providing shelter within their own facility. Food served in a shelter is not included here. LROs may use a per diem rate of $12.50 per bed night for housing individuals and families.  Note: Operational costs such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and staff salaries are included in the per diem allowance. 
Rent/Mortgage To provide clients with rent/mortgage assistance, up to 90 days, per client/family to assist in maintaining their existing housing.  Ineligible: Deposits, late and/or legal fees, taxes, insurance, escrow accounts, and first month of a new mortgage. 
Utilities – Metered  Utilities – Non-Metered For providing clients with utility assistance, up to 90 days, per client/family/per utility to prevent disconnection of service. Ineligible: Deposits, cable, or satellite TV bills; phone bills, internet service, late fees, and payment on closed accounts. 

If you have any questions please contact Marjorie Shaffer, EFSP Administrator at

"In the 2022-2023 grant cycle, Women United proudly distributed $60,000 in women's financial stability and select Girls on the Run, Tenfold and WellSpan as the next round of grantees for the 2023-2024 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