EFSP Grants

Applications are now CLOSED.



About EFSP

Federal funds are made available in Douglas County to supplement emergency food and shelter programs through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP). The amount available is determined by a National Board chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's FEMA Agency and includes representatives from national nonprofit organizations. Qualifying local organizations are urged to apply. 

A Local Board is charged with distributing EFSP funds to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas within the county. The Local Board will review applications requesting funds in the following priority areas: rent/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, mass shelter costs, other shelter, and mass feeding (served meals or food pantry). 

In accordance with the authorizing legislation of funds, priority consideration and special emphasis will be given to the specialized needs of:

  • Individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Individuals with disabilities 
  • Individuals with mental illness
  • Senior Citizens
  • Families with children
  • Native Americans
  • Veterans



(Applications are currently CLOSED)



All applications must be submitted via email to jcornish@unitedwaydgco.org Faxed, mailed, late, or otherwise incomplete applications will not be accepted for consideration.

United Way of Douglas County will coordinate with the Local EFSP Board to manage the process for reviewing and scoring applications. This is a competitive process with limited funding available, and submission of an application does not guarantee funding. The Local EFSP Board reserves the right to award partial or full funding requests. Applicants will receive funding notification by Feb. 8, 2021. 

Programs are edible for grants of between $1,000-$10,000.


Applicants may apply for funds in the following categories:

A. Served Meals - This category pertains to basic, nutritional, hot, or cold prepared meals that are served by the Local Recipient Organization (LRO) or delivered to clients. Food costs for meals served in a shelter should be included here. The per meal rate of $2.00 may be used for agencies serving congregate meals. 

B. Other Food - This category includes food vouchers for food orders, food boxes, or food purchased by food banks/pantries. 

C. Mass Shelter (on-site) - This category pertains to funds to provide shelter within the LRO’s own facility. Food served in a shelter is not included here. LROs may use a per diem rate of $12.50 for housing clients in their facility. 

D. Rent/Mortgage - This category pertains to funds to provide clients with rent/mortgage assistance (one month only per client/family). 

E. Utilities - This category pertains funds to provide clients with utility assistance (one month only per client/family/per utility). 

To submit, please download and complete the application. "Save as" with your organization name in the title, and email the completed application to jcornish@unitedwaydgco.org  (be aware - grants are currently CLOSED)


 Current GRANT recipients: 





Rent/Mortgage Assistance


Catholic Charities

Rent/Mortgage Assistance



Rent/Mortgage & Utilities Assistance


Eudora Schools Foundation

Rent/Mortgage & Utilities Assistance


Family Promise



Just Food



Lawrence Habitat for Humanity

Rent/Mortgage Assistance



Served Meals


Success by 6

Rent/Mortgage & Utilities Assistance


Sunrise Project

Served Meals


Willow Domestic Violence Center

Served Meals




The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was created in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, in an effort to help people with economic emergencies (non-disaster-related). EFSP funding is open to all organizations helping those who are experiencing hunger or homelessness in Douglas County. EFSP funds must be used to supplement feeding, sheltering, rent/mortgage or utility assistance efforts for programs already in existence. These funds cannot be used to substitute for other program funds or to start new programs.

EFSP funds are not to be used to provide emergency assistance for circumstances that are the immediate result of a disaster situation, such as fires of any kind, floods, hurricanes or tornadoes. However, EFSP funds may be used to provide economic assistance in the long term, even if the current circumstances may have been impacted by an earlier disaster occurrence.

Funds can be used to serve permanent residents of and transients within Douglas County, KS.  Each year needs are assessed locally in an effort to respond to changes in the community. Funding is made available by the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is a competitive grant process, and no organization is guaranteed funding or to receive the entire amount requested.


Grant Eligibility Criteria

The intent of this program is for the purchase of food and shelter, to supplement and expand current available resources, and not to substitute or reimburse ongoing programs and services or to start new programs. Consequently, the Local Board will only consider fully operational agencies to receive funds to supplement and expand eligible ongoing services and will not fund agencies in anticipation of a needed service (i.e., fire victims, floods, tornadoes, etc.) nor for singular or special events/holiday baskets, etc. The Local Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) Board will not consider applications for funding due to budget shortfalls or reductions in other funding sources. 


bellyAny public or private organization in Douglas County that meets the following is eligible:

  • Has no known EFSP compliance exceptions in this or any other jurisdiction,
  • Has the capability to provide emergency food, shelter, rent/mortgage assistance and/or utilities assistance services,
  • Will use funds to supplement/extend existing resources and not to substitute or reimburse ongoing programs and services,
  • Is a nonprofit or an agency of government,
  • Will not use EFSP funds as a cost-match for other Federal funds or programs,
  • Has an accounting system, and will pay all vendors by an approved method of payment,
  • Understands that cash payments (including petty cash) are not eligible under EFSP,
  • Has not received an adverse or no opinion audit,
  • Is not debarred or suspended from receiving Federal funds,
  • Practices nondiscrimination (agencies with a religious affiliation will not refuse service to an applicant based on religion, nor engage in religious proselytizing or religious counseling in any program receiving Federal funds),
  • Has a voluntary board if a private nonprofit,
  • Will attend required trainings and meetings organized by the Local Board
  • Will expend monies only on eligible costs and keep complete documentation (copies of canceled LRO checks -- front and back, other proof of payment, invoices, receipts, etc.) on all expenditures for a minimum of three years after end-of-program date, and for compliance issues until resolved.
  • Will spend all funds and close out the program by jurisdiction's selected end-of-program date and return any unused funds to the National Board,
  • Will provide complete, accurate documentation of expenses to the Local Board


Please direct questions to:

Jeffrey Cornish, United Way of Douglas County