Berkshire United Way administers the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) in Berkshire County, which was created to help people with economic emergencies. The funding is made by a national board that is chaired by FEMA with local representatives from the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities USA, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, and United Way of America.
The board solicits proposals from qualifying organizations and then determines how funds designated by FEMA are to be distributed. Funds pass directly from FEMA's EFSP program to the local agencies that are awarded funding.
Local organizations chosen to receive funds must be private voluntary non-profits (with voluntary board) or units of government; have an accounting system; practice non-discrimination; have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.
How to Apply for EFSP Funding
Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are intended to help people with economic emergencies (not disaster-related). Awards will be based on an agency’s ability to meet a true emergency only (i.e. Many families who have never needed assistance before are suddenly out of work and unable to meet their basic needs. This situation constitutes a true emergency.) Funding is available through competitive bid to all organizations helping hungry and homeless people. EFSP funds must be used to supplement feeding, sheltering, rent/mortgage and utility assistance efforts only.
EFSP Agency Eligibility Criteria
- Is your organization a non-profit or an agency of government?
- Does the organization have an accounting system and conduct an independent annual audit?
- Does the organization practice non-discrimination?
- Is this a religious organization? If "Yes", do you agree not to refuse services to an applicant based upon religion; requiring attendance at religious services; and engaging in any religious proselytizing in any program receiving EFSP funds?
- Is this a private voluntary organization? If "Yes", does it have a voluntary board?
- Is your agency handicapped accessible?
When an EFSP RFP process is open (which happens annually), there will be an announcement on this website and also in the local papers. When the process is open, please download and complete this application as instructed.
The EFSP RFP process is currently open.