Emergency Food and Shelter Program

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The Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program was created in 1983 to supplement the work of local social service organizations within the United States, both private and governmental, to help people in need of emergency assistance. The program is governed by a national board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; United Jewish Communities; The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; The Salvation Army; and United Way of America. The Board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The program's objectives are to:

  1. Allocate funds to the neediest areas. 
  2. Ensure fast response. 
  3. Foster public/private sector cooperation. 
  4. Ensure local decision making. 
  5. Maintain minimal, but accountable, reporting.

How is the Program Governed Locally?

The program is a model of public-private cooperation. Each civil jurisdiction (a county or city) funded by the program must constitute a local board. The board must be composed of representatives of the same organizations as those on the National Board, with a local government official replacing the FEMA representative. The Local Board members elect their chair. Local boards may also have additional members, and, since 1993, local boards have been required to include a homeless or formerly homeless person as a member. If a jurisdiction is located within or encompasses a federally recognized Indian reservation, a Native American representative must be invited to serve on the local board.

The National Board awards funds to jurisdictions based upon a formula; in addition, a small portion of the overall award is allocated by formula to state set-aside committees, who then allocate funds to jurisdictions based upon the criteria they feel is most appropriate.

Once an award is made by either the National Board or a state set-aside committee, local boards decide which agencies are to receive funds, and then those agencies are paid directly by the National Board. Within a jurisdiction, no more than 2% of the entire award may be used for administrative costs by the local board and agencies combined.

Current Awards:

May 2020 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $8,380 under Phase 37 and $11,947 under Phase CARES of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million under Phase 37 and $200 million under Phase CARES to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed.

Phase 37 Awards:

  • $5,000 - Blue Ridge Housing Network for rent and utility assistance
  • $3,380 - The Laurel Center for shelter and meals

Phase CARES Award:

  • $11,947 – Faithworks for motel vouchers ($2,220), utility assistance ($3,247), rent/mortgage assistance ($6,500)

Previous Awards:

July 2019 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $7,784 under Phase 36 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed.

  • $7,784 was awarded to Faithworks to provide rental assistance.

July 2018- The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $7,621 under Phase 35 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed.

  • $7,621 was awarded to Faithworks to provide rental assistance. 

August 2017 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $6,612.00 under Phase 34 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed. 

  • $4,112 was awarded to Faithworks
  • $2,500 was awarded to The Laurel Center

August 2016 - The Winchester jurisdiction has been selected to receive an award of $7,332.00 under Phase 33 of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Congress has appropriated $120 million to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs. Our jurisdiction's award is based upon total number of unemployed. 

  • $4,000 was awarded to Faithworks for rent/mortgage assistance
  • $3,332 was awarded to Highland Food Pantry for utility assistance