Emergency Assistance Programs

SMCAA offers Emergency Assistance through: Food Assistance and Emergency Services.


Food Assistance provides food assistance through pantries and commodities to individuals and families who are eligible.


Emergency Services provides emergency funding for past due and disconnected electric, natural gas, and deliverable fuels; past due rent to prevent eviction or homelessness; and emergency shelter housing. All programs can be referred by 2-1-1, agency staff, or other human services agencies.

Covid 19

CARES Relief & Recovery Services In an effort to respond to the immediate needs of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren County residents, SMCAA is implementing our CARES Relief and Recovery Services. Through this new initiative, residents may qualify for assistance in the following areas: ​ Food Support Water & Energy Assistance ​Emergency Repairs Rent & Mortgage Assistance


Commodity Supplement Food Program (CSFP) CSFP is a food supplement program for income-eligible seniors, where food boxes are distributed monthly. Who is eligible? -Seniors 60 years of age, or older. -Household Income at, or below, 130% of the federal poverty level. -Must sign-up with one of our CSFP distribution sites. CSFP food is distributed once per month. Please click here to view a list of the sites and pickup times and dates.


Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) TEFAP is a food supplement program for anyone who is struggling and in need of food. Who is eligible? -Individuals and households who are in need of food. TEFAP food is distributed quarterly -- once every 3 months.


** Food assistance through our pantry is by referral. Who is eligible? -Eligible Individuals and Households who are in need of food for 3 days. For a food referral, please call 211.


AEP Emergency assistance for income-eligible past-due AEP clients. Who is eligible? -Household income at, or below, 150% of Federal Poverty -Past due bill for AEP


Emergency Shelter Our emergency shelter is for women, children, and families for up to 90 days. Who is eligible? -Single women, women with children, and families who are homeless. -Referral from the Department of Health and Human Services, or other agencies. May stay up to 90 days. Call (269) 605-4526 for direct contact to our shelter.

Residential District

Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) EFSP is emergency assistance for food and housing. Who is eligible? -Household in need of eviction prevention. -Household income at, or below, 200% of Federal Poverty.

CSFP, TEFAP, and Pantry Site Locations

Please click the button below to view list of sites for CSFP, TEFAP, and food pantries.

For Additional Information on Programs

If you have any additional questions or would like more information on Emergency Assistance programs offered by SMCAA, please call our office at 269-925-9077.


Miss C

I would like to thank everyone for all their help, from propane assistance to the weatherization program, and to all those who worked on my house. Me house is so nice and warm. I even saved $20 the first month on my electric bill. Thank you!

Mr. V

I am disabled and my health has been deteriorating. I have always been able to pay my bills. Lately though, my finances have been a burden and I have had difficulty paying my monthly bills. I have always been too proud to ask for help, but the staff here has helped me so much and I have my head above water again.

Mr. and Mrs. G

My husband and I don't even know how to put into words how grateful we are that you supplied our family of nine with so much good, healthy food. We moved here last fall, we had a death in our family and combined three households together. It has been so hard for everyone... our cupboards were bare, but now they're full!

Contact Information

185 E Main St, Ste 303

Benton Harbor, MI 49022

(269) 925-9077


Office Hours

Monday - Friday

8:00am to 4:30pm

Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency

SMCAA is dedicated to empowering diverse people in need and supporting their journey towards economic security.

Our vision: to be a beacon of support in a strong, thriving community by helping people and changing lives.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal Civil Rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Civil Rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior credible activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

© 2019 Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency. All Rights Reserved. 

SMCAA is a private social service non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization.


Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) TEFAP is a food supplement program for anyone who is struggling and in need of food. Who is eligible? -Individuals and households who are in need of food. TEFAP food is distributed quarterly -- once every 3 months.