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Emergency Food and Shelter Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is a Federally-funded program that supplements the work of local social service agencies to help people experiencing economic emergencies. United Way of Long Island convenes the EFSP Local Board for the Nassau-Suffolk region and a team of approved community-based organizations disburses services and funding on behalf of eligible applicants.   The program provides funding for emergency food and shelter, as well as one-time emergency rent, mortgage and utility assistance for those not eligible for local government aid.

2017 EFSP Program Assistance: $1,136,030

In 2017, EFSP received $1,136,030 in federal funds to provide assistance to Nassau and Suffolk County residents in three areas: Mass Shelter, serving homeless families and individuals needing emergency shelter; Emergency Food, serving food insecure households through food pantries and soup kitchens; and Emergency Rent/Mortgage/Utility Assistance, serving households qualified under Federal guidelines facing eviction, foreclosure or termination of services with one-time help.

The Long Island region must qualify each year for Federal EFSP funding and distributing agencies provide assistance during a fixed timeframe until all funds are exhausted.  When the program is open, Long Islanders needing emergency assistance may find an EFSP provider by calling United Way’s 2-1-1 Long Island Call Center for a referral.     


Where to Turn for Help

Households in need of emergency assistance may call United Way's 2-1-1 Information and Referral Call Center. Dial 2-1-1 (or at 1-888-774-7633 if you experience problems connecting) for a referral to an EFSP partner or visit the 2-1-1 database at to search for EFSP partners or the local Dept. of Social Service. 
This program is federally funded and authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Administered by United Way of Long Island.