Emergency Food & Shelter Program


The Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) helps connect Long Islanders with food, rental, and mortgage assistance.

The Emergency Food & Shelter Program was established in 1983 to help meet the needs of the homeless across the country. This program works by allocating federal funds that help supply food and shelter to those in need. It also supports mass shelter and feeding operations. In 38 years of operation, EFSP has given out over $5.03 billion to people in more than 2,500 counties and cities. In 2020 HWCLI became the regional manager for EFSP and continues to oversee the distribution of dollars and coordinates with the local board and local receiving agencies to ensure effective programming across Long Island. For more information please check out the EFSP website! https://www.efsp.unitedway.org/efsp/website/index.cfm

For a referral, please call: 516 559 4450 or email efsp@hwcli.com


The EFSP Application is currently CLOSED. Please check back soon for more information.

Click here to submit an application as a new grantee.

Click here to submit an application as a returning grantee.

Please note that the online applications do not have an option to save and return later.

To view a sample application from previous phases to help you prepare: click here for the SAMPLE new grantee application or click here for the SAMPLE returning grantee application.


Thank you for your interest in the HWCLI Emergency Food and Shelter Program Grant. This application process has two components:

  1. Complete the online application, and
  2. Email the following supplemental documents to efsp@hwcli.com with the subject line “EFSP APP – [your agency name]”
    • A brief history of your organization.
    • A brief statement of the emergency needs in your community and a description of the program your agency currently operates to meet these needs.
    • Describe agency’s internal accounting system that will monitor spending in the program.
    • Agency’s ability to serve entire jurisdiction (entire county) if providing rent/mortgage/utility payments, food vouchers, food baskets or food pantry on premises.
    • How money spent will be accounted for, in specific terms.
    • Copy of agency’s 501(C)(3) Internal Revenue Service charitable determination.
    • A list of the volunteer Board of Directors, indicating addresses and officers.
    • Operating budget for current and prior year – Breakdown of Revenues and Expenses.
    • Audited Financial Statements – most recent.
    • Form 990 – most recent.


Below are additional criteria and key information pertaining to the EFSP Grant Applications:

  • EFSP funds must supplement CURRENT EMERGENCY feeding, sheltering and rent/mortgage and utility assistance efforts only (startup funding for a new service is prohibited).
  • Eligible programs must serve the entire county jurisdiction.
  • The information included on the application is required by the EFSP National Board and must be provided to be considered for participation in the program by the Local EFSP Board.
  • All complete applications will be considered at the next meeting of the Oversight Committee and the Local Board.
  • A notice will be sent to inform agencies of the Local Board’s decision.
  • Criteria for selection are in accordance with the National Board’s guidelines and availability of funds.

Thank you for carefully reading the enclosed material. Click here to contact the EFSP team with any questions or concerns. 


Please complete this online application.

Click here to contact the EFSP team with any questions or concerns. 


In it’s 38 year history EFSP has been able to distribute funds to over 14,000 human service agencies in more than 2,500 communities across the nation. Now more than ever EFSP funding for personal emergencies has become critical due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The Health and Welfare Council of Long Island has worked to raise awareness and create opportunities for new partners to receive EFSP funding during these unprecedented times.  Over 600 households have been able to receive critical support from EFSP across 130+ towns in Long Island.  Below are personal client testimonials about how EFSP has helped families through difficult times and allowed them time to get back on their feet! 


  • The EFSP grant opportunity came at a perfect time for a struggling client family in need. The mother juggling was taking care of her husband with ALS and her daughter who was dealing with physical and developmental disabilities. When the husband unfortunately passed away, the mother had to take time off from work to manage funeral arrangements all while still caring for her daughter who was preparing for an upcoming surgery. The mother did not know how to manage caring for her family and paying the mortgage. EFSP gave this mother a moment to breathe by giving her time to care for her family without worrying about falling behind on the mortgage. 


  • Once COVID hit, a client found her expenses to have increased causing her to fall behind on many bills. In order to avoid shut off she had to make the hard decision of what bills to pay. Having access to the grant gave her the ability to focus on paying other essential bills and expenses. She was extremely appreciative of the rental assistance and quick turnaround time for allowing her to take care of all her expenses with less stress being placed on her.  


  • A client family was struggling financially before the quarantine shutdown had begun. The husband is a survivor of throat cancer which made his vocal communication extremely limited. His history of cancer made him a high risk patient, which severely limited the families access to necessary resources. EFSP rental assistance provided the family with housing security and gave the family more time to look for affordable housing. The family was able to pay their rent and stretch their budget for a few months, alleviating a lot of stress they were experiencing. The family is incredibly grateful for the assistance they received through EFSP!

Join us in creating a future for Long Island in which everyone has an equal opportunity to prosper and thrive.

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Established in 1947, the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI) is a regional, nonprofit umbrella organization for health and human service providers. We are dedicated to improving the lives of Long Island’s most vulnerable residents by responding to their needs through the promotion and development of public policies and direct services.

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110 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 101, Huntington Station, NY 11746

Phone: 516-483-1110

Fax: 516-483-4794

E-mail: connect@hwcli.com

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