Emergency Food and Shelter Program

Food and Shelter


The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was created in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies in an effort to help people with economic emergencies (not disaster-related). EFSP funds may be used to provide economic assistance in the long term, even if the current circumstances may have been impacted by an earlier disaster occurrence. EFSP funding is open to all 501(c)(3) non-profits, faith-based organizations, and government organizations helping hungry and those experiencing homelessness. EFSP funds must be used to supplement feeding, sheltering (including transitional sheltering) and rent/mortgage.

Emergency Food and Shelter Grants Phase 38

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) has awarded support to Santa Cruz County for FY 2021 in the amount of $143,458. 

Nonprofit, faith-based, or local government agencies that provide food and shelter services may apply for funds.

Eligible Expenses and Program Strategies
  • Rent/Mortgage Assistance
  • Food Purchases (food, diapers, feminine hygiene products)
  • Transportation for food banks/pantries
  • Equipment and Consumable Supplies
  • Transportation for Mass Shelter/Mass Feeding
  • Building Code Repairs
  • Utility Assistance
  • Facility Improvements (ADA)
  • Mass Shelter Expenses
  • Mass Feeding Expenses
Key Dates
  • Funding Periods: Spending period for Phase 38 is February 1, 2021 - May 31, 2022
  • Proposals Deadline: February 1, 2021
  • Awards Announced: March 1, 2021

Download all the necessary documents for applications here. Please submit completed applications by email to Theresa McGuire at tmcguire@unitedwaysc.org.

Local Board:

Board Member agencies are representative of:

  • National agencies: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 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
  • Homeless Advocate
  • Local Non-Profits

Local Boards set funding priorities based on eligible program costs annually prior to the selection of agencies for funding. Local Boards must look at the resources available in the community, the emergency food and shelter needs of the community, gaps in services in the community and focus the dollars to address these needs in the areas of emergency food and shelter.

The priorities may vary from year to year, so each award phase must be evaluated individually.

Once priorities are set, the Local Board reviews proposals and selects organizations for funding to help meet the identified needs.

This year, the local Board is requesting that applying agencies leverage partnerships, funding, and prevention solutions to complement the immediate relief provided by emergency food and shelter grants.  

Local Leadership

The 2020 Santa Cruz County Local Emergency Food and Shelter Board is:

  • Aurelio Salazar, Chair - Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey
  • Angela Di Novella - Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey
  • Annette Melendrez - Pajaro Valley Shelter Services 
  • Denise Acosta - Salvation Army Watsonville
  • Emily Balli - County of Santa Cruz - Human Services Department
  • Nora Krantzler - Homeless Action Partnership
  • Patsy Hernandez Gasca -American Red Cross
  • Tatiana Stone - Housing Matters
  • Keisha Browder - United Way of Santa Cruz County 

For information about the Emergency Food and Shelter Program or Local Board 089200, please visit the EFSP website or contact:

Theresa McGuire
ESFP Contact
United Way of Santa Cruz County