This page contains useful information related to programs and services offered by Food and Nutrition Services.
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. Women, infants, and children who were certified and receiving CSFP benefits as of February 6, 2014, can continue to receive assistance until they are no longer eligible under the program rules in effect on February 6, 2014. Through CSFP, USDA distributes both food and administrative funds to participating States and Indian Tribal Organizations.
FDPIR is a Federal program that provides USDA Foods to low-income households, including the elderly, living on Indian reservations, and to Native American families residing in designated areas near reservations.
Under TEFAP, USDA Foods are made available to States. States provide the food to local agencies that they have selected, usually food banks, which in turn, distribute the food to soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public.
The USDA Foods in Schools program supports domestic nutrition programs and American agricultural producers through purchases of 100% American-grown and -produced foods for use by schools and institutions participating in the National School Lunch Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program. USDA Foods are available to Child Nutrition Programs in three ways: direct delivery, USDA Foods Processing, and the USDA DoD Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it more affordable for many low-income families. Each day, 2.6 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks through CACFP. The program also provides meals and snacks to 74,000 adults who receive care in nonresidential adult day care centers. CACFP reaches even further to provide meals to children residing in homeless shelters, and snacks and suppers to youths participating in eligible afterschool care programs.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program provides free fresh fruits and vegetables in selected low-income elementary schools nationwide. The purpose of the Program is to increase children’s fresh fruit and vegetable consumption and at the same time combat childhood obesity by improving children’s overall diet and create healthier eating habits to impact their present and future health.
School districts and independent schools that choose to take part in the lunch program get cash subsidies and USDA Foods for each meal they serve. In return, they must serve lunches that meet Federal requirements, and they must offer free or reduced price lunches to eligible children. School food authorities can also be reimbursed for snacks served to children through age 18 in afterschool educational or enrichment programs.
The School Breakfast Program operates in the same manner as the National School Lunch Program. School districts and independent schools that choose to take part in the breakfast program receive cash subsidies from the USDA for each meal they serve. In return, they must serve breakfasts that meet Federal requirements, and they must offer free or reduced price breakfasts to eligible children.
Participating schools and institutions receive reimbursement from the USDA for each half pint of milk served. They must operate their milk programs on a non-profit basis. They agree to use the Federal reimbursement to reduce the selling price of milk to all children.
SFSP is the single largest Federal resource available for local sponsors who want to combine a feeding program with a summer activity program. Children in your community do not need to go hungry this summer. During the school year, nutritious meals are available through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. But those programs end when school ends for the summer. The Summer Food Service Program helps fill the hunger gap.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to eligible, low income individuals and households via a monthly benefit on a debit like card that is used at authorized retailer stores to purchase food. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - better known as the WIC Program - serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, & children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.
The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables from local farmers' markets to Women, Infants and Children (WIC) recipients
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program awards grants to States, United States territories, and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs.