Moulton & Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Ask FEMA for Assistance with Program for Food and Shelter Grants
Washington D.C. – Congressman Moulton and the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation have sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell and Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) Chair Michael Lee requesting help for local organizations to find the resources they need to support newly arrived migrants in Massachusetts.
This request follows a letter sent last month by members of the Massachusetts delegation to FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging them to ensure that EFSP funds are awarded as quickly and efficiently as possible to organizations providing humanitarian aid to migrants in Massachusetts.
“We have already asked FEMA and DHS to award EFSP funds as quickly and with as little bureaucratic delay as possible to Massachusetts organizations that are providing humanitarian aid to migrants,” wrote the lawmakers. “FEMA must now also ensure that these funds are accessible to organizations that are new to the program.”
EFSP is charged with distributing grant awards to local humanitarian agencies and other entities that provide shelter, food, transportation, and related aid to migrants. Dozens of Massachusetts organizations have used EFSP awards, but some service organizations are either unaware of EFSP or have not previously received awards. Without experience or knowledge of the application process, organizations face barriers in accessing the program.
“Massachusetts organizations have capably provided dignified humanitarian assistance to people in need,” wrote the lawmakers. “However, they have also told us that they need more resources to support the growth in the number of migrants arriving within this relatively short period of time.”
To ensure that these worthy organizations are able to participate in the program, the lawmakers are asking that FEMA:
- Conduct enhanced outreach to Massachusetts organizations to share updated guidance on how to apply for and access EFSP funds;
- Update the EFSP website and;
- Provide a briefing to the Massachusetts Congressional delegation regarding FEMA’s current efforts to make EFSP funds more accessible.
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