Basic Needs – Emergency Food and Shelter Program

Many residents of the Pioneer Valley may at some point in their lives face a need for emergency assistance. This could include disaster relief, a need for food, fuel or shelter, or access to basic support to get through a tough time. We are committed to assisting people in meeting emergency and basic needs.

About the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP):

The EFSP of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both non-profit and governmental, in an effort to help people with economic (not disaster related) emergencies. Since that time the EFSP has distributed $2.19 billion to over 11,000 human service agencies helping homeless and hungry people in more than 2,500 communities across the country. EFSP funds must supplement feeding, sheltering (including transitional sheltering) and rent/mortgage and utility assistance efforts only.

The Emergency Food and Shelter National Board administers the program and selects jurisdictions for funding. Local Boards are convened in those qualifying jurisdictions to determine the highest need and best use of funds and to select Local Recipient Organizations (LROs) that will provide emergency food and shelter services. Funds to Local Recipient Orgranizations are distributed directly from the National Board.

The local board consists of representatives from the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, City of Springfield, Council of Churches of Greater Springfield, Equal Access to Safety Initiative, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council, Holyoke Housing Authority, Mental Health Association,  Rachel’s Table, Springfield Partners for Community Action, The Salvation Army, United Way of Pioneer Valley, and Western Massachusetts Network to End Homeless.

For additional information, please visit the Emergency Food & Shelter Program website at

EFSP Applications for Phase 34 (2017-2018):
If you have never received EFSP funding or have not received funding in the past 2 years or more, to receive funding for Phase 34 (2017), a representative of your organization MUST attend the Public Information Session on Wednesday, February 15 at Springfield Jewish Community Center, 1160 Dickinson Street Springfield, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to become familiar with the national and local guidelines. Currently funded programs are not required to attend an Information Session but are welcome to do so.  Applications are available through United Way and information to apply will be provided at the meeting.  For additional information about EFSP, receive access to an application, or reserve a seat at the meeting on February 15, contact LaTonia Monroe Naylor at 413-693-0215 or lnaylor@uwpv.orgApplication deadline for Phase 34 is March 1, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Click here to apply!

Please note that you may only apply with this link if you have previously received EFSP funds.  New applicants must attend a Public Information Session in order to apply.

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