Food Donation


To improve the diets of school and preschool children; the elderly; needy persons in charitable institutions; other individuals in need of food assistance; and, to increase the market for domestically produced foods acquired under surplus removal or price support operations.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 05/06/2008 (Program no longer funded)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Sale, Exchange, or Donation of Property and Goods.
Program Accomplishments
USDA has worked in conjunction with Indian Tribal Organizations and agencies to improve the food packages offered to recipients of the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. USDA is supporting the School Meals Initiative by improving schools access to high quality, fresh fruits and vegetables that will appeal to kids. USDA has teamed up with the Department of Defense Personnel Support Center to offer over 60 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables to States. USDA has numerous initiatives that are underway to streamline commodity distribution programs, make them more efficient, and enhance customer service to its partners and stakeholders such as schools, Indian Tribal Organizations, State and local agencies, and agricultural producers. Efforts are underway to develop new information technology systems to replace outdated and antiquated systems within USDA and among States, schools, and USDA. Product specifications are being updated. USDA is planning to allow vendors the option to use commercial labels for most commodity products. USDA is testing the use of National umbrella contracts with industry to simplify the processing of commodities. The commodity hold and recall system has been re-engineered to reduce the time needed to resolve recipient and State agency complaints. USDA is also working to pilot-test several other food distribution program improvements within the next few years.
National School Lunch Act, as amended; Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended; Mutual Security Act of 1954, as amended; Agricultural Act of 1956; Act of September 6, 1958, as amended; Act of September 13, 1960, as amended; Food and Agriculture Act of 1965, as amended; Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended; Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended; Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, as amended; Public Law 74-320, as amended, Public Law 75-165; Public Law 93-288; Public Law 95-166, 91 Stat. 1334 and 1336; Public Law 95-627; Public Law 96-494; Public Law 97-98; Public Law 98-8, as amended; Public Law 100-237, 101 Stat. 1733; Public Law 100-435, 102 Stat. 1645; Public Law 101-147, 103 Stat. 877; Public Law 101-624, 104 Stat. 3359; Public Law 103-448, 108 Stat. 4699; 7 U.S.C. 612c, 612c note; 7 U.S.C. 1431, 1446a-1, 1859; 15 U.S.C. 713c; 22 U.S.C. 1922; 42 U.S.C. 1755, 1758, 1760, 1761, 1762a, 1766, 1777, 3030a, 3057c, 5179-5180; 49 U.S.C. 1751.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Such State, Territorial and Federal agencies that are designated as distributing agencies by the Governor, legislature, or other authority may receive and distribute donated foods. School and other child feeding programs are eligible but must meet requirements concerning facilities, meal content, meal charges, etc. Charitable institutions are eligible to the extent they serve needy persons. Emergency feeding operations under Public Law 98-8 and amendments must provide food to needy persons including unemployed persons. All must apply to their responsible State distributing agency. Elderly nutrition programs that are funded under Title III of the Older Americans Act of 1965 must apply to their State Agency on Aging for commodities; elderly nutrition programs for Indians on reservations that are funded under Title VI of the Older Americans Act must apply to FNS Regional Offices for such assistance.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Households in areas which participate in the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) authorized under Public Law 98-8 must meet eligibility requirements established by the State. All children in schools, child care institutions, and summer camps which participate in the program may benefit from food donations. Foods donated to charitable institutions (on the basis of needy persons served) and to nutrition programs for the elderly, may be used for the benefit of all served.
Individual households are individually certified by local agencies based on the State eligibility standards for TEFAP.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-102.
Application Procedure
All States now have distributing agencies; no applications necessary. Local governments, schools, other child nutrition organizations, nonprofit summer camps for children, charitable institutions, and nutrition programs for the elderly must apply to State distributing agencies on their forms. Under TEFAP, a household eligibility and distribution plan must be approved for each State; heads of households apply to receive commodities for home consumption to local welfare authorities on forms supplied by State or local office. Persons receiving commodities in the form of meals from sites which serve prepared meals are presumed to be eligible.
Award Procedure
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Program continues once approved unless withdrawal is requested or required because of program irregularities, persons receiving commodities for home consumption are recertified periodically.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
USDA makes food available to State agencies for distribution to qualifying outlets, such as emergency feeding organizations, soup kitchens and food banks, schools, child and adult day care, charitable institutions, nutrition programs for the elderly, nonprofit summer camps and Summer Food Service for children. Individuals may not be charged. Donated foods may not be sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of (authorized distribution excepted) without prior, specific approval of the Department.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Semiannual inventory reports of commodities.
In accordance with the provision of OMB Circular No. A- 133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-profit Organizations," State and local governments, and non-profit organizations that expend Federal financial assistance of $300,000 or more within any fiscal year shall have either a single audit or (in certain cases) a program specific audit made for that year. Audits may be conducted less frequently under conditions specified in A-133.
Adequate to account for all receipts and dispositions; to be retained for 3 years following the close of the fiscal year.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Foods are donated on the basis of availability and need. Under TEFAP, foods are allocated to each State on the basis of a formula combining the number of persons in the State living below the poverty level (60 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (40 percent).
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Food donations continuous.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
Food Distribution Division, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA 22302. Telephone: (703) 305-2680. Contact: Les Johnson, Director.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-4336-0-3-351; 12-5209-0-2-605.
(Donations) FY 02 $1,516,758,000; FY 03 est donations depend upon availability; and FY 04 est not available.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR 240, 250; 251, 253,254.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.