Emergency Food & Shelter Program

Local Board: 456100 Holland/Allegan, Ottawa Counties

food shelter program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program began in 1983 with a $50 million federal appropriation. The program was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter.

The program is governed by a National Board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; The Jewish Federation of North America; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The Board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

How Are Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funds Used?
Program funds are used to provide the following, as determined by the Local Board in funded jurisdictions:

  • Food, in the form of served meals or groceries
  • Lodging in a mass shelter or hotel
  • One month's rent or mortgage payment
  • One month's utility bill
  • Equipment necessary to feed or shelter people, up to a $300 limit per item

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary, non-profit or units of government, 2) have an accounting system, 3) practice non-discrimination, 4) have demonstrated the capacity to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 5) if a voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.

For an application, contact the local board chair listed below:

Liz DeLaLuz, EFSP Board Chair
Office: (616) 396-7811 ext. 205