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Mecklenburg County awarded over $500,000 to assist emergency food, shelter efforts

United Way of Greater Charlotte to manage and distribute funds to local agencies

Mecklenburg County has been awarded $500,170 to supplement local emergency food and shelter efforts to support people in need during these continued challenging times.

The funds were awarded under Phase 40 of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), a federally funded program intended to help meet the needs of people experiencing hunger and homelessness in cities and counties throughout the United States. The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In FY 2022, FEMA awarded to the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) National Board the $130 million made available under the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. No. 117-103). EFSP funding is allocated to eligible jurisdictions and managed by Local Boards and State Set-Aside Committees.

Mecklenburg County’s EFSP Local Board is facilitated by United Way of Greater Charlotte and will determine how the Phase 40 funds will be distributed to area service providers of emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

“The economic disruption that followed the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined the financial stability of many Mecklenburg County residents, and the harm falls disproportionately on those with the least resources, too often in communities of color,” said Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, chief impact officer at United Way of Greater Charlotte. “The Emergency Food and Shelter Program will provide critical resources to organizations working to meet our neighbors’ most basic needs.”

EFSP funds must be used to supplement food and shelter services and may not be used as seed money for new programs. Agencies may receive funds to provide food, shelter and supportive services, including, but not limited to:

  • Food services, such as congregate meals or groceries.
  • Lodging in a mass shelter ($12.50 per night per individual), or in a hotel/motel or other off-site shelter facility limited to 90-days assistance per individual or household to prevent homelessness.
  • Up to 90 days (3 months) of rental or mortgage assistance for clients per phase if it is necessary to prevent eviction or foreclosure.
  • Up to 90 days (3 months) of utility assistance for clients per phase if it is necessary to prevent disconnection of services (gas, electric, water).
  • Supplies, including but not limited to cleaning supplies and small equipment essential to feed or shelter people, not exceeding $300 per item.
  • Administrative funding, if approved by the EFSP Local Board.

Nonprofit, faith-based, and governmental organizations that provide food, shelter, and supportive services within the intent of the program may apply. To be eligible for local EFSP funding, organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN); maintain a checking account in the organization’s name for EFSP deposits; pay vendors within 90 days of services provided; submit required reports; practice non-discrimination; demonstrate the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and, if a private voluntary organization, must have a voluntary board.

Qualifying Mecklenburg County organizations interested in applying should contact Beth Reichert at to request an application. Completed applications with required documents must be emailed to Beth Reichert no later than noon on Friday, February 24, 2023.