2020 CARES Act – $400 Million for FEMA Federal Assistance Programs

Published: May 07, 2020

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CARES Act includes $400 million for Federal Assistance grant programs to assist emergency support infrastructure, first responders, and those most impacted by the pandemic.

Originally Published: April 15, 2020

Updated: May 7, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, provided a number of funding streams to assist those on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act specifically designated $400 million for three federal assistance programs managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  This includes $100 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants, $100 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants, and $200 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

The Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) program received $100 million for the purchase of personal protective equipment and related supplies, including reimbursements for purchases made previously to combat the spread of the virus.  FEMA has released a breaking news update on the AFG site that the Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) Grants Application Period will open will open on Monday April 27, 2020 and close on Friday May 29, 2020. The update also includes available guidance materials to allow applicants to begin preparing.

The Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) also received $100 million which will be managed under the Emergency Management Performance Grants Supplemental (EMPG-S) program, which is authorized under the CARES Act and the Stafford Act.  Title VI of the Stafford Act authorizes FEMA to make grants for the purpose of providing a system of emergency preparedness for the protection of life and property in the United States from hazards and to vest responsibility for emergency preparedness jointly in the federal government and the states and their political subdivisions. FEMA released an EMPG-S Fact Sheet with more information on the funding, eligibility, and application process to help speed the aid process.

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), which received $200 million in the CARES Act, was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter. EFSP is governed by a National Board which is chaired by a representative of FEMA and includes representatives of the 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. The EFSP National Board has made Phase 37 (FY2019 annual) and Phase CARES (FY2020 CARES Act supplemental) allocations available on the EFSP website, www.efsp.unitedway.org, under the FY2019/2020/CARES Funding Tab. Any nonprofit, faith-based or local government agency that provides food and shelter services may apply for funds in both phases.  Current or former EFSP participation is not a requirement. 

Please refer to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant, the Emergency Management Performance Grants, and Emergency Food and Shelter Program websites for further information and news.  This resource will be updated as more information becomes available.