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FACT SHEET: USDA Support for Food Banks and the Emergency Food System

Press Release
Contact: FNS Press Team

Food supply chain issues and rising food costs have strained individuals and families across the country, highlighting the importance of a strong and resilient emergency food system, which includes organizations such as food banks, soup kitchens, food pantries, and more. These emergency food providers continue to be vital partners in USDA’s efforts to promote food and nutrition security. The Biden-Harris Administration is equipping them with significant investments so they can continue serving their communities well through evolving challenges. The sustained investments focus on additional food purchases, improving infrastructure, supporting health and nutrition, bolstering local food systems, and promoting access and equity to continue to drive toward a stronger tomorrow.

As part of the Administration’s commitment to addressing inflation and ensuring families can keep healthy food on the table, USDA’s support in fiscal year 2023 (October 2022 – September 2023) includes:

  • An estimated $445.5 million in base food funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides food and administrative funds to states for distribution through organizations like food banks. This funding is an increase of $46 million over fiscal year 2022 because of the statutory annual adjustment to account for the cost of food based on the Thrifty Food Plan.
  • Nearly $1 billion ($943 million) to support additional food purchases for distribution to emergency food organizations beginning in fiscal year 2023 funded by USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.
  • A second round of $60 million in TEFAP Reach & Resiliency Grants to help expand the reach of the emergency food system in underserved areas including remote, rural, tribal, low-income, or low food access communities. State agencies and local emergency feeding organizations will use the funds to implement unique, creative solutions to address program gaps and best serve their communities’ specific needs. A first round of $40 million in funding was distributed in fiscal year 2022.
  • Nearly $500 million in additional support for first-of-their-kind cooperative agreements to allow states and tribes to directly purchase local foods for distribution through emergency food providers. USDA is already in the process of completing agreements with many states, territories, and tribes to source products from within their state or tribe (or within 400 miles) for use in emergency nutrition assistance programs.
  • Continued commodity food support “bonus buys”—to be made based on market need throughout the year—for distribution through TEFAP, building on the nearly $700 million in “bonus buys” made in fiscal year 2022.

This support builds on other assistance provided in fiscal year 2022, including $500 million in supplemental funding for TEFAP and the largest round of Farm to Food Bank grants to date, which repurpose privately donated food that would otherwise be wasted for distribution through TEFAP.

These historic investments represent supplemental support for the nation’s emergency food system totaling billions of dollars. This is in addition to resources from other federal agencies, such as the Department of the Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which some states are using to help procure a continuous food supply for food banks and other emergency food providers.

Together, and in close collaboration with our partners in the emergency food system, we are helping to keep communities fed, healthy, and strong.

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