Federal Emergency Food & Shelter Funds (EFSP) Available

United Way of 1000 Lakes announces that the application period is open for governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations to apply for a share of Itasca County’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) funds.


Local human service agencies and charities may apply through July 17 for a portion of $28,426 in federal funds that Itasca County has been awarded by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA).


Funding is based upon 12-month (December 2017-November 2018) unemployment rates, the total number of unemployed, number of individuals below the poverty level, and the total population of Itasca County. Awards are appropriated annually to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food, and supportive services for individuals and family who are experiencing hunger, homelessness, and in economic crisis.


Qualified local, governmental, or private voluntary organizations chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private, voluntary nonprofits 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, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.

Applications are available for download on the United Way of 1000 Lakes’ website at unitedwayof1000lakes.org. A cover letter describing the use of funds and completed application must be submitted by 4 p.m. on July 17, 2019. To be considered, applicants are required to attend the meeting of the Local Emergency Food and Shelter Board on Thursday, July 18 at 1 p.m. at the United Way offices at 350 NW 1st Ave., Grand Rapids.


While United Way of 1000 Lakes administers the local EFSP funds, decisions regarding disbursement are made by a Local Board comprised of representatives of organizations that are concerned about or have responsibility for the hungry and homeless in their communities.


For more information about the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, contact Kim Brink Smith, United Way of 1000 Lakes Executive Director at 218-999-7570.



The board has previously distributed supplemental funds to the Community Café, GRACE House, The Salvation Army, Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, and United Way of Northeastern Minnesota. These agencies were responsible for providing shelter, food, and supportive services for adults and children who are experiencing hunger, homelessness, and an economic crisis in Itasca County.