Emergency Food and Shelter Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is a program created by Congress in 1983 to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people through the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds, awarded through the Department of Homeland Security, for the provision of food and shelter.  The amount of funding the EFSP administers to communities throughout the nation is dependent on multiple factors, including the local unemployment rate. Lake Area United Way administers the EFSP Local Board, #701400 for the Muskogee County jurisdiction.


PHASE 40 application can be downloaded by clicking here.   Download the application, complete and email back to finance@lakeareaunitedway.org 

EFSP Appeals Policy can be downloaded by clicking here.

EFSP National Board:

Chair: Federal Emergency Management Agency – U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Secretariat and Fiscal Agent: United Way Worldwide

Members: National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; Catholic Charities USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; The Salvation Army; American Red Cross

During its 36 years of operation, the program has disbursed over $4.5 billion to over 14,000 local providers in more than 2,500 counties and cities.

EFSP Guiding Principles are:

  • Efficiency—fiscal administration, reporting and procedural guidance to Local Boards and Local Recipient Organizations (LROs)
  • Accountability—good steward of taxpayers’ dollars through reasonable oversight and transparency
  • Responsiveness—prioritize the allocation of supplemental funds to the neediest areas in the nation
  • Partnership—promote and strengthen collaboration between non-profit organizations and public sector
  • Facilitating—maximizing appropriate local decision-making through clear guidance and training

Muskogee County Local Board

The local board is comprised of representatives from the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Muskogee County Emergency Management, Muskogee Housing Authority, American Red Cross, KiBois Community Action, Muskogee Community Food Pantry, Lake Area United Way, Gospel Rescue Mission, WISH - Women in Safe Home (homeless representative)

The EFSP Local Board’s responsibility is to:

  • Consider all private voluntary and public organizations currently providing or capable of providing emergency food and shelter programs.
  • Select and recommend which local organizations should receive funding and the amounts of the funding awards.
  • Advertise the availability of funds.
  • Establish priorities among community needs.
  • Award funds to nonprofit and government emergency food and shelter agencies.
  • Monitor program compliance to Rules and Regulations set forth by the National EFSP Board.

Local Recipient Organizations Requirements:

  • Be private, not for profit agencies or units of government.
  • Be eligible to receive Federal funds by having a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN),
  • Have an accounting system.
  • Practice non-discrimination.
  • Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.
  • Have an active volunteer board of directors.


    For an overview of EFSP, click here.
    For more information about EFSP,  visit efsp.unitedway.org