Emergency Food and Shelter Program

Application deadline: April 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.

What is the Emergency Food and Shelter Program?

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 through the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter to nonprofit or governmental organizations in local communities.

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 Board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

How are Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funds Used?

Emergency Food and Shelter funds are dispersed to and used by nonprofit or governmental organizations 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.

How does my Agency or Organization Apply?

When a jurisdiction is funded, the Local Board through United Way of Central Oklahoma must advertise the availability of funds. Local organizations, whether nonprofit or governmental, may apply. The Local Board is responsible for considering all applications, and for determining which organizations will receive funds. Nonprofits and government agencies must submit an application and original, signed Local Recipient Organization (LRO) Certification to be considered for funding.

If you are a nonprofit or government agency interested in applying for funding from Phase 41 of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, please contact us for a copy of the EFSP Application and additional paperwork.

If you are an individual in need of emergency housing or food assistance, please call 2-1-1.


Liliana Macias

Community Initiatives & Research Manager