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CSFP Fact Sheet

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What is CSFP?

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods. Children who were certified and receiving CSFP benefits as of Feb. 6, 2014, can continue to receive assistance until they are no longer eligible under the program rules in effect on Feb. 6, 2014. As required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (PL 113-79), women, infants, and children who apply to participate in CSFP on Feb. 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), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other nutrition assistance programs. CSFP is administered at the federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Through CSFP, USDA distributes both food and administrative funds to participating states and Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs). CSFP food packages do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of the beneficiary population. The program is authorized under Section 4(a) of the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 (PL 93-86). Federal regulations covering CSFP can be found in 7 CFR Parts 247 and 250. An average of almost 676,000 people each month participated in the program in fiscal year (FY) 2018.

Updated: 07/01/2019