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USDA Partners with States to Expand Reach, Bolster Resiliency of Emergency Food System

Press Release
Release No.
Contact: FNS Press Team

Washington, D.C., June 26, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service recently awarded more than $58.5 million in grants to 40 state agencies to improve the reach of The Emergency Food Assistance Program, known as TEFAP, in remote, rural, tribal, and/or low-income areas.

“USDA is committed to ensuring that the emergency food system is there to support all those in need, especially communities that have been systemically left behind for far too long,” said Cindy Long, administrator, USDA Food and Nutrition Service. “Emergency food providers, such as food banks, soup kitchens, food pantries, and other organizations, are vital partners in USDA’s efforts to promote food and nutrition security.”

States receiving TEFAP Reach and Resiliency Grants will use funds to address gaps in emergency food system coverage and strengthen food distribution infrastructure in underserved areas. State agencies and their partners will use this funding for efforts such as expanding mobile distribution options, making critical freezing and cooling upgrades to keep foods fresh, and building new TEFAP partnerships so the program can serve all who need it. About one-third of the projects will focus on tribal areas or involve collaboration with a tribal organization.

Grant recipients and grant amounts are listed on the FNS webpage. This is the second of two rounds of the TEFAP Reach and Resiliency Grants, which have provided a combined nearly $100 million in program investments. Project highlights from the previous round of Reach and Resiliency funding include:

  • Repairing aging infrastructure, upgrading racking and storage systems, buying food distribution vehicles, funding new hires, and buying mobile pantry equipment necessary for expanding program reach in Kentucky;
  • Improving warehouse efficiency and delivery capacity to improve TEFAP’s ability to reach underserved populations in Hawaii;
  • Establishing new distribution sites within tribal communities in Arizona.

TEFAP supplements the diets of people with low income by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. Through TEFAP, USDA purchases nutritious, high-quality USDA Foods, which are domestically sourced and produced, and makes those foods available to state agencies. States provide the food to local emergency food providers – usually food banks – which distribute the food to local organizations, such as soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public. These local organizations then distribute the foods to eligible recipients for consumption at home or in a public, group setting. All Reach and Resiliency grant projects are carried out in collaboration with TEFAP local partners.

The TEFAP Reach and Resiliency initiative is one of several ways that USDA continues to invest in the emergency food system to support communities and ensure families can keep healthy food on the table. Just last week, USDA announced nearly $1 billion in funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation for states to purchase domestically-produced food for distribution through emergency food providers, on top of a previous round of CCC funding announced last year.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of 16 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit and follow @USDANutrition.


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Page updated: July 05, 2023