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. River Valley United Way administers the EFSP Local Boards for Pope & Yell County jurisdictions.

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

Pope & Yell County Local Board

The Pope County local board is comprised of representatives from United Way, Help Network, River Valley Shelter for Battered Women & Children, River Valley Food 4 Kids, Pope County EMS, Russellville Area Ministerial Alliance, Salvation Army & Red Cross

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.

Public Notifications

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.



The Phase 39/ARPA Applications can be accessed via the public notices above.

Please review the EFSP Manual to ensure that your program/organization will be able to meet all documentation requirements. It is the responsibility of each applicant to be knowledgeable of the manual and all addendums.

EFSP Manual available here.

Addendums to the EFSP Manual here:

Phase 38 Addendum to Program Manual

Phase CARES Addendum to Program Manual

Phase 37 Addendum to Program Manual

Phase 36 Addendum to Program Manual

Phase 34 Addendum to Program Manual

Phase 32 Addendum to Program Manual

Phase 31 Addendum to Program Manual

Phase 29 Addendum to Program Manual





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