This page will provide a summary of the eligibility requirements for schools and institutions interested in participating in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and how to apply.
- Participant Eligibility Requirements:
(a) Public or private nonprofit organizations that provide food and nutrition assistance to the needy through the distribution of food for home use or the preparation of meals. Please note the following:
Organizations that distribute food for home use must determine the household's eligibility by applying income standards.
Organizations that provide prepared meals are eligible to receive commodities if they can demonstrate that they serve predominately needy persons.
(b) Households that 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.
(c) Homeless people, including low-income senior citizens are eligible to participate in TEFAP. Homeless people can receive prepared meals served in a congregate setting without submitting an application. However, homeless people must meet State income eligibility requirements in order to receive TEFAP food that is not served in prepared meals.
- 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.