Our Initiatives

Emergency Food &
Shelter Program (EFSP).

The purpose of the Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP) program is to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, in an effort to assist people experiencing severe economic crisis that is not the immediate result of a natural or man-made disaster situation. Heart of Maine United Way administers these federal funds for Penobscot & Somerset Counties, through the local EFSP Boards to help expand the capacity of emergency food and shelter programs in communities within the County.

EFSP is a Federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The intent of the EFSP program is to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food and supportive services for the nation’s hungry, homeless and people in economic crisis. Additionally, The National Board encourages Local Boards, the decision-making local bodies, to place special emphasis on the identification of and the assistance to the elderly, families with children, Native Americans and Veterans.

The program’s objectives are:

  • To allocate funds to the neediest areas
  • To ensure fast response
  • To foster public-private sector partnerships
  • To ensure local decision-making
  • To maintain minimal, but accountable, reporting

EFSP funds are typically available yearly. HoMEUW advertises funding/applications once the National Board notifies HoMEUW regarding the availability of funds.

Funding comes directly from the federal EFSP fund. To find out more about EFSP funding please visit their website or review the EFSP Manual.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must meet the following criteria:

  1. be private voluntary non-profits or units of government
  2. be eligible to receive Federal funds
  3. have an accounting system
  4. practice nondiscrimination
  5. have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs
  6. if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board

Phase 40 Funding.

Applications for EFSP Phase 40 funding are now being accepted.

Somerset County has been awarded $23,322. Applications must be completed and submitted by 5:00 PM on Monday, March 6, 2023.


Penobscot County has been awarded $57,486





Questions? Contact Us.

Please contact HoMEUW at grants@homeunitedway.org or call 941-2800 for more information.




Funding Amounts

Phase 30 $61,957
Phase 31 $63,187
Phase 32  $71,871
Phase 33  $69,703
Phase 34 $60,898
Phase 35 $57,036
Phase 36 $63,210
Phase 37  $52,390
CARES  $74,693
Phase 38 $52,742
ARPA-R $172,436
Phase 39 $55,791

10-Year Total