Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department Of Homeland Security
CFDA #: 97.024

Purpose of this program:

To supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food, and supportive services for needy families and individuals. To strengthen efforts to create more effective and innovative local programs by providing supplemental funding for them. To conduct minimum rehabilitation of existing mass shelter or mass feeding facilities, but only to the extent necessary to make facilities safe, sanitary and bring them into compliance with local building codes.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Food and feeding related expenses (such as transport of the food and food preparation and serving equipment); mass shelter; other shelter (such as hotels and motels); and rent/mortgage and/or utility assistance for one month only; and limited repairs to feeding and sheltering facilities. Emergency Food and Shelter (EFS) National Board Program funds cannot be used for: rental security, deposits of any kind, cash payments of any kind, lobbying efforts, salaries (except as administrative allowance and limited to that total allowance of 2 percent of total award), purchases or improvements of an individual's private property, telephone costs, repairs to government-owned or profit-making facilities and any payments for services not incurred. For a complete listing on eligible and ineligible costs under this program, refer to Phase 22: Responsibilities and Requirements, issued by the Emergency Food and Shelter Program National Board.

Who is eligible to apply...

Since funds are initially distributed to jurisdictions based on either a National Board formula or recommendations from State Set-Aside Committees, there is no application process for jurisdictions. All jurisdictions are considered within the National Board formula and all jurisdictions in an individual State may be considered by the State Set-Aside Committee for either initial or additional (if the jurisdiction had previously been selected by the National Board) funding.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

The program employs a Local Recipient Organization Certification Form. This form certifies an applicant's status (i.e., that it is a nonprofit capable of delivering eligible services) that it will abide by the program guidelines (both on eligible spending and reporting requests), and comply with other fiscal and program rules so stipulated. Grant awards will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-102 and A-87 for State and local governments. Awards made to Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations will be required to follow the requirements of OMB Circular Nos. A-110 and A-21, and be audited under the standards of OMB Circular No. A-133.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

The local board decides the manner and form of application. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program only requires that potential Local Recipient Organizations (LROs) sign the LRO Certification Form (See CREDENTIALS/DOCUMENTATION).

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

By law, FEMA establishes and chairs the Emergency Food and Shelter Program National Board. Along with FEMA, this Board comprises the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA, United Jewish Communities, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army, and United Way of America. Staff at United Way of America serves as Secretariat for the program. This Board decides on the distribution of funds as well as the promulgation of the Program Guidelines. Through the use of a formula based on the most current unemployment and poverty data available on a nationwide basis, down to the jurisdictional level, the National Board selects jurisdictions across the country for awards. The award amounts are determined by a per capita rate set by the National Board. The jurisdictions selected are notified of their award to alert them to assemble their Local Boards and begin advertising the availability of funding. These boards are made up of local affiliates of the National Board organizations, other appropriate nonprofits, and a representative from local government to take the place of FEMA (however, unlike the National Board, the government slot at the local level does not necessarily chair the board). As noted above, the Local Boards then advertise the program to solicit interested agencies and make the decision as to the most effective use of the jurisdiction's allocation. Simultaneously, the National Board contacts State Set-Aside Committees and informs them of the amount of funds they have to work with (this is determined by applying the per capita to the universe of unemployed individuals not covered by the National Board awards), and the jurisdictions already selected by the National Board. The State Set-Aside Committee (composed of the state-wide affiliates of National Board members along with a representative from the State government and other interested parties) then recommend high need jurisdictions along with suggested award amounts. The State Set-Aside Committee has 25 working days to notify the National Board in writing of its selections and the appropriate contact person in each of those selected areas.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Both the State Set-Aside Committee and the Local Board have 25 working days from the date of notification to complete their work.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Under Program Guidelines the Local Boards have 25 working days to respond to the National Board notification of a jurisdiction's award. This encourages a rapid turn around of funding requests at the local level. The National Board staff then reviews the Local Board Plan, checks the program compliance status of the organizations recommended by the Local Board, and then begins issuing checks. That process takes an average of four to six weeks depending upon the quality of the Local Board Plan as well as the timeliness of the submission.

Preapplication Coordination

At the local level, following award notification, a Local Board is formed. That board then advertises the availability of the funds to local nonprofit agencies and governments. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Since the basic decision-making process is carried out at the local level, the National Board requires Local Boards to establish an appeals process and to handle all appeals promptly. Suggestions on approaches to this process appear in the Program Guidelines. Those cases that cannot be handled locally should be referred to the National Board giving details on action that has been taken up to that point. Any allegations regarding fraud or the misuse of funds should be referred directly to the FEMA Office of Inspector General.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable. Each phase (fiscal year) is a new program.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

The law directs that the Local Boards, which manage the program at the local level, shall "determine which private nonprofit organizations or public organizations of the local government in the individual locality shall receive grants to act as service providers." The range of local participant groups includes the affiliates of the National Board membership which consists of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA, United Jewish Communities, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army and United Way of America, with a local government representative replacing FEMA. Also participating are thousands of independent nonprofits (such as Community Action Agencies and Food Banks and food pantries) which provide food and/or shelter services. Due to the broad category of people in need of such emergency services, the providers can include specialized groups such as domestic violence shelters, Native American organizations, organizations providing food or shelter to: AIDS patients, handicapped individuals, the elderly, homeless veterans, non-wards of the State teenage runaways, and many other groups with emergency food and shelter needs. As noted earlier, the decisions on selections are made through the consensus of the Local Board as they have assessed their community's most urgent needs. It is important that such agencies use these funds to supplement, not replace, their current efforts. This program is intended to supplement ongoing programs and allow them to extend and expand upon their existing services.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Formula Grants

Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$2,000 to $5,864,000.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $152,000,000; FY 04 est $152,097,000; and FY 05 est $153,000,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Some local providers have used EFS Program funds in the following ways: (1) A drop-in center, available for homeless individuals during daytime hours when shelters are closed, used EFS funds to begin a lunch program; (2) A family shelter used EFS funds to increase the quality of the diet available to mothers and children and added a morning meal; (3) A shelter used funds to purchase additional cots and beddings, and thus increase shelter capacity; (4) A food bank used EFS funds to increase the amount of food and the protein quality it distributed to its pantry system; and (5) A shelter organization used EFS funds to make one-month mortgage and rent payments to prevent evictions which kept families in their own homes and lightened the shelter population.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

During Phase 22 of the EFS Program it is estimated that over 11,000 social service agencies (both nonprofit and governmental) in more than 2,500 jurisdictions will distribute nearly $153 million. The appropriation is estimated to result in more than 45 million additional meals and more than 4 million additional nights of shelter, and payout of approximately 302,000 rent/mortgage and utility bills to keep people in their homes, as well as supplies and minimal repairs for shelters. Additionally, program staff will conduct more than 10 training sessions across the country in which nearly 700 program participants will review procedures and exchange information with program staff. In addition, the National Board funded a special project in which the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans was provided $250,000 to support 51 Stand Downs for homeless veterans throughout the nation.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

October 1 to the following September 30. Jurisdictions have the option of extending their spending year to the end of either September, October, November or December, provided they do not begin spending the next award until they have reached that date. For example, if a jurisdiction chose December 31 as a closing date, and new phase funds became available in October, that jurisdiction could not gain access to the new funds until January 1. For reasons of accountability the National Board wishes to avoid the commingling of funds from different years.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Given its charge to distribute the funds rapidly to those areas in greatest need, the National Board uses unemployment and poverty statistics as indicators of need. For Phase 22, fiscal year 2004, the following formula was used: (1) Jurisdictions, including balance of counties, with 13,000+ unemployed and a 4.8 percent rate of unemployment. (2) Jurisdictions, including balance of counties, with 300 to 12,999 unemployed and a 6.8 percent rate of unemployment. (3) Jurisdictions, including balance of counties, with 300 or more unemployed and an 11 percent rate of poverty.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Local Boards are expected to monitor the expenditure of funds in their respective jurisdictions. It is for that reason that requests for second checks (all awards are divided into two payments) must be made by the Local Boards. Along with the request for the second payment, the National Board receives an interim report on eligible spending during that phase. A Final Report also must be filed by each LRO with its Local Board. The Local Board then compiles all the Final Reports within its jurisdiction and submits them (along with any requested documentation) to the National Board. Failure of an LRO to file a Final Report will result in its award being held in escrow the succeeding year.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


Local recipient organizations receiving $25,000 or more in EFS funding must have an independent annual audit in accordance with Government Auditing Standards. Organizations must meet the requirements of OMB Circular No. A-133 as applicable. In addition, the National Board reviews all new agencies and any agencies with previous program compliance problems. This desk audit for program compliance includes the submission of all supporting documentation (invoices, canceled checks, etc.) For fiscal year 2004, on-site monitoring reviews and audits have also been scheduled by EFS staff. FEMA's Office of Inspector General also conducts random field audits while the National Board has a private accounting firm perform an additional sample audit.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Local Boards are required to remain in operation until all program and audit requirements of the National Board have been satisfied. All records related to the program must be retained for three (3) years.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, as amended, Title III, Sections 301-316, Public Law 100-77, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 11331-11346.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

EFS National Board Program, "Phase 19: Responsibilities and Requirements."

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

See Additional Contact Information - FMR Help for list of addresses for FEMA Regional Offices.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Drive, SW., Washington, DC 20528. Telephone: (202) 282-8000.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: