Union County has been awarded $79,481 to supplement local emergency food and shelter efforts.


The funds were awarded under Phase 38 of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), a federally funded program intended to help meet the needs of people experiencing hunger and homelessness in cities and counties throughout the United States. The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Congress appropriated $125 million in FY 2020 to the EFSP. Included with the $125 million is $15 million in unused funds from prior years for reallocation, bringing the total allocation to $140 million. Each year, funding is allocated to eligible jurisdictions and managed by a local board.


In Union County, an EFSP Local Board facilitated by United Way of Central Carolinas will determine how the Phase 38 funds will be distributed to area service providers of emergency food and shelter programs in the county.


“The Union County EFSP Local Board is very grateful to have these funds available to our county. The challenges of this year have been especially difficult for many in our community as they struggle with the most basic of needs including housing, utilities and food for their families,” said Ivy Allen, United Way of Central Carolinas regional development director for Union and Anson counties. “To many people the services these dollars will provide are a lifeline.”


EFSP funds must be used to supplement food and shelter services and may not be used as seed money for new programs. Agencies may receive funds to provide food, shelter and supportive services, including, but not limited to:


  • Food services, such as congregate meals or groceries
  • Lodging in a mass shelter, or in a hotel/motel or other off-site shelter facility limited to 30-days assistance per individual or household
  • One month rent or mortgage assistance to prevent eviction or foreclosure
  • Utility assistance for one month of service for gas, electric and water service
  • Supplies, including but not limited to cleaning supplies, and small equipment essential to feed or shelter people, not exceeding $300 per item
  • Administrative funding, if approved by the local EFSP board


To be eligible for local EFSP funding, organizations must be a private, voluntary nonprofit or unit of government; be eligible to receive federal funds; have an accounting system; practice non-discrimination; demonstrate the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and, if a private voluntary organization, must have a voluntary board.


Qualifying Union County organizations interested in applying should contact Ivy Allen at ifallen@uwcentralcarolinas.org to request an application. Completed applications must be emailed to Allen no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 21, 2021.