CSFP is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Here you will find a summary of the benefits and services available to those who are eligible to participate in this program. To view a copy of the program fact sheet, click here.
USDA purchases food and makes it available to CSFP State agencies, along with funds for administrative costs. State agencies that administer CSFP are typically departments of health, social services, education, or agriculture. State agencies store the food and distribute it to public and non-profit private local agencies.
Local agencies determine the eligibility of applicants, distribute the foods, and provide nutrition education. Local agencies also provide referrals to other welfare, nutrition, and health care programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Medicare.
- Population Served. The population served by CSFP is low-income elderly people at least 60 years of age. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, other new mothers up to one year postpartum, infants, and children up to age six also participate in the program, but are being phased out by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79, the 2014 Farm Bill). As required by the 2014 Farm Bill, women, infants, and children who apply to participate in CSFP on February 7, 2014, or later cannot be certified to participate in the program. Such individuals may be eligible for other nutrition assistance programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). CSFP distributes food and administrative funds to States rather than food vouchers that programs like WIC provide to participants. Eligible people cannot participate in both programs at the same time.
- USDA Foods Available List. CSFP food packages do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of the target population. For a list of the foods available for CSFP, click here.
If you are interested in participating in CSFP, please contact your State Distributing Agency.