Eligibility and How to Apply

Last Published: 12/28/2015

This page will provide a summary of the eligibility requirements for persons interested in participating in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and how to apply.

  • Participant Eligibility Requirements. Households must meet State eligibility criteria. Each state sets criteria for determining what households are eligible to receive food for home consumption. Income standards may, at the State's discretion, be met through participation in other existing Federal, State, or local food, health, or welfare programs for which eligibility is based on income.

    States can adjust the income criteria in order to ensure that assistance is provided only to those households most in need. However, recipients of prepared meals are considered to be needy and are not subject to a means test.

  • How to Apply. Contact your State distributing agency for further assistance. For a list of SDA contacts that includes those which administer TEFAP, CSFP, NSIP, and Schools/Child Nutrition Commodity Programs, click here.

To view a fact sheet with frequently asked questions about how this program works, click here.