EFSP Grant Information


The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is a FEMA-funded program authorized by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. The program supplements and expands ongoing work of local nonprofit and governmental social service organizations to provide shelter, food and supportive services to individuals and families who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, hunger and/or homelessness. By statute, the EFSP National Board is the sole recipient of EFSP grant funds and establishes the program’s policies, procedures, and guidelines.

The EFSP National Board allocates funds to local boards in qualifying jurisdictions using the most recent national population, unemployment, and poverty data. The Berks County Local Board advertises the availability of grant funding in the Reading Eagle and on the United Way of Berks County website and Facebook page.  We are currently accepting applications until February 20, 2024. The Local Board then reviews applications submitted via e-CImpact and awards grants to organizations that provide services to those in need. Services can include:

  • Food, in the form of served meals or groceries.
  • Lodging in a mass shelter or hotel.
  • Rental or mortgage assistance to prevent evictions.
  • Utility payment to prevent service cut-offs.
  • Transportation costs associated with the provision of food or shelter.
  • Supplies and equipment necessary to feed or shelter people.

Any nonprofit, faith-based organization or local government agency that provides food and shelter services may apply for funds in the current phase(s). Previous EFSP participation is not a requirement.  Interested agencies must apply to the Local Board in the jurisdiction/county where they are providing services.  For more information, please contact Amanda Hansen at amandah@uwberks.org or 610-685-4582.

Information for current phases and open applications can be found here. Additional informational documents include: EFSP Eligible Costs TableEFSP Eligible Program Costs, EFSP Program Changes, and EFSP Manual.

EFSP Funding does not come from United Way of Berks County. United Way of Berks County helps facilitate the management of allocations from this federal funded program.