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Commodity Supplemental Food Program: Income Guidelines for 2021

Publication Date
EO Guidance Document #
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
DATE: March 11, 2021
SUBJECT: Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): Income Guidelines for 2021
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
State Directors
CSFP State Agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs)

This memorandum transmits the 2021 Income Guidelines (IGs) for state agencies and ITOs in determining the eligibility of individuals applying to participate in CSFP. These guidelines should be used in conjunction with CSFP regulations, at 7 CFR Part 247, which establish household income limits.

Per 7 CFR Part 247.9(c), to be eligible for the program, individuals must be 60 years of age or older and must have household income at or below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (Poverty Guidelines) published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The 2021 IGs in the attached tables contain the maximum income limits by household size to be used for eligibility determinations in CSFP. To establish annual income limits of 130 percent, the Poverty Guidelines are multiplied by 1.30, and the results are rounded up to the next whole dollar. From these results, weekly and monthly income limits are calculated. The first table contains the income limits for households residing in the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Separate income limits for Alaska and Hawaii are established and published annually by HHS, which are reflected in the second and third tables.

Pursuant to program regulations, CSFP state agencies and ITOs must implement the 2021 IGs immediately upon receipt of this memorandum for elderly participants. The guidelines remain in effect until notification of the CSFP IGs for 2022.

CSFP regulations at 7 CFR Part 247.9(e)(1) define “income” as gross income before deductions for such items as income taxes, employees’ social security taxes, insurance premiums, and bonds. Income exclusions are listed in Parts 247.9(e)(2) and (e)(3) and via policy memoranda available online at the Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) website at States and ITOs may also authorize local agencies to consider the household’s average income during the previous 12 months and current household income to determine which more accurately reflects the household’s status, in accordance with 7 CFR Part 247.9(e)(4).

State agencies should direct any questions they may have regarding the 2021 IGs to their respective FNS regional offices.

Laura Castro
Food Distribution Division


Page updated: December 21, 2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.