Emergency Food Assistance Program (Food Commodities)


To help supplement the diets of low-income persons by making USDA Foods available to the State agencies that are responsible for the distribution of USDA Foods within the States.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
A - Formula Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 No current data available. Provided 460,073,845 pounds of USDA Foods purchased with appropriated funds for TEFAP to State and local agencies for distribution to needy persons for use at home or for use at sites which serve prepared meals.
Fiscal Year 2017 No current data available.
Fiscal Year 2018 No current data available.
Fiscal Year 2019 No current data available.
Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983, Public Law 98-8, 7 U.S.C. 7501, Statute 97,35
Hunger Prevention Act of 1988, Public Law 100-435, 102 Stat. 1647; Public Law 101-624, 104 Stat. 3359; Public Law 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105; Public Law 104-127, 110 Stat. 1029; Public Law 107-171, 116 Stat. 330; Public Law 110-246, 122 Stat. 1882; American Recovery Act and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
State agencies that are designated as distributing agencies by the Governor or other appropriate State executive authority may receive and distribute USDA Foods. States can distribute these foods to eligible recipient agencies, such as food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, and other eligible agencies, including faith-based organizations.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Low-income and needy individuals, including persons that are homeless, unemployed, underemployed, or receiving public assistance. The State agency must establish income-based eligibility criteria to ensure USDA Foods are provided to the needy. Persons interested in receiving TEFAP should contact their State agency (http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/contacts/SdaContacts.htm) for more information on how to access the program.
Low-income individuals receiving USDA Foods for home consumption must establish eligibility to participate in the program on the basis of State eligibility standards. All individuals seeking food assistance at sites which serve prepared meals are presumed to be eligible to receive meals.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. All States are eligible to participate; the State does not need to complete an application.
Award Procedure
USDA Foods are allocated among the States on the basis of a legislatively-mandated formula that takes into account each State's relative share of the national number of persons with income below the poverty level (60 percent) and of unemployed persons (40 percent).
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
USDA Foods can only be used to provide food assistance to needy persons. USDA Foods may be provided for household consumption or for congregate feeding.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503
Normal records accounting for receipts and dispersals; retention required for 3 years following the close of the fiscal year or until any outstanding audit, claim, or litigation is settled.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title Agriculture Chapter 7 Part 251 Agriculture

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
USDA Foods are made available on an ongoing basis. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Letter.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Erica Antonson
3101 Park Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22302 US
Phone: 7033052680
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Formula Grants) FY 18$353,073,267.00; FY 19 est $306,083,000.00; FY 20 est $320,750,000.00; FY 17$291,339,820.00; FY 16$292,068,571.00; - In 2018, State agencies had the opportunity to convert up to 15% of their TEFAP food funds to administrative funds. In FY 2018, State agencies elected to convert $25,878,428 to administrative funds.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
In Fiscal Year 2018, the range of awards was from $185,511 to $43,379,835, after conversions; the average award was $6,419,514.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 251; refer to 7 CFR Part 250 for applicable provisions on USDA Foods handling.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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