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). The EFSP funding is open to all organizations helping hungry and homeless people. EFSP funds must be used to supplement feeding, sheltering (including transitional sheltering) and rent/mortgage and utility assistance efforts only.
EFSP is governed by a National Board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; The Jewish Federations 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). This diverse representation is also reflected at the state and local levels, with representatives from these organizations serving on the State Set-Aside and local EFSP Boards.
For more than a decade, United Ways of Texas has served as the United Way representative on the EFSP State Set-Aside Committee for Texas.