FEMA EFSP grant program


The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) has allocated $90,895 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in Southwest Louisiana during Phase 39. 

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPACT) has allocated an additional $280,934 in funding for Calcasieu Parish


To be eligible to apply for this funding opportunity, an organization must:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) non-profit or agency in good standing with the IRS
  • Be eligible to receive Federal funds
  • Have a qualified accounting system with annual audits
  • Have a valid Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number issued by Dun & Bradstreet
  • Practice non-discrimination (agencies with a religious affiliation, will not refuse service to a client based on religion, nor engage in religious proselytizing or religious counseling in any program receiving Federal funds)
  • Have the capacity to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs
  • Have an unpaid voluntary board that meets at least semi-annually.
  • Eligible organizations may request a minimum of $1,000 per organization.

EFSP funds must be used to supplement or expand existing resources. The local EFSP funds will be used for Served Meals, Other Food, Mass Shelter, Other Shelter, Supplies/Equipment, Rent/Mortgage and Utilities categories with a priority given to individuals affected by COVID-19. EFSP funds are distributed on a reimbursement basis and require specific documentation for proof of purchase.


The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) 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 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 national board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

During its 36 years of operation, the national program has disbursed over $4.4 billion to over 14,000 local providers in more than 2,500 counties and cities.

Funds from EFSP are distributed to each county/parish in the United States based on its current population size, unemployment rate and poverty rate.

United Way of Southwest Louisiana facilitates a local board of community volunteers who decide how the funds from EFSP are distributed each year.

For more information about EFSP, go to https://www.efsp.unitedway.org/efsp/website/index.cfm.

Congress appropriates the money to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas. United Way provides the administrative staff and distributes the money. This grant is not in response to natural or national disasters.

The Calcasieu Parish Jurisdiction was designated by a national board of volunteer organizations chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Criteria for funding requires organizations to be a non-profit, have a qualified accounting system and conduct annual audits, practice non-discrimination and show they are capable of administering these programs. Private voluntary organizations must also have an unpaid board. Calcasieu Parish designates a local board which awards funding based on our parish needs.