Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

TEFAP: Allocation of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Supplemental Appropriations

EO Guidance Document #
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (537.64 KB)
DATE:April 24, 2020
SUBJECT:The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): Allocation of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Supplemental Appropriations
TO:Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
State Directors
TEFAP State Agencies

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (PL 116-136), which provides $450 million in supplemental funding for TEFAP for FY 2020. Up to $150 million of the supplemental funding is available as administrative funds and the remaining amount will be made available as food funds. The assistance offered through the CARES Act must be used to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” In order to accept their share of these funds, states must submit a short written statement that explains how these funds will be used to meet this purpose. States that cannot meet that criterion are encouraged to turn back the assistance so that it may be reallocated to states that will be able to use it for that purpose.

Some examples of meeting this purpose include increasing the amount of TEFAP food distributed due to the national public health emergency, replacing foods previously distributed during the national public health emergency (except those foods replaced as a result of approved Disaster Household distribution programs), or increasing administrative expenditures due to changed procedures, such as distribution changes to accommodate social distancing. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, and other justifications will be accepted provided they meet the purpose described above.

State agencies should also be aware that the 40 percent pass-through requirement for TEFAP administrative funding will apply to these supplemental administrative funds, as will the state matching requirement for any funds not passed through to emergency feeding organizations. Thus, the justifications should also indicate the source for any matching funds that will be used.

Please see the attached TEFAP funding worksheet, which provides each state’s potential share of food funds, funds available as administrative funds, and total funds provided under the CARES Act, and provide it to your state agencies. State agencies must report to their respective FNS regional offices whether they will accept any or all of their share of the $450 million and whether they want to accept their portion of the $150 million as food funds, administrative funds, or any combination of the two. Any funds not accepted will be subsequently reallocated as food funds among the remaining states. States must submit the total amount of food and administrative funds that they will accept along with their written statement by May 1, 2020.

CARES Act administrative funds must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2020. States will need to separately report on these administrative funds from their normal reporting for TEFAP. Further guidance on this process will follow. Each state’s balance of CARES Act food funds remaining at the end of FY 2020 will carry over to FY 2021.

The CARES Act supplemental funds will be made available to state agencies once they have made their decisions regarding the allocation of the funds.

Dana Rasmussen
Acting Director
Food Distribution Division

Page updated: December 20, 2023

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.