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Final Rule: TEFAP Amendments to Requirements Regarding the Submission of State Plans and Allowability of Certain Administrative Costs

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This final rule amends regulations for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) by making state plans permanent, which is intended to reduce the administrative burden on states; and by explicitly designating the processing of donated wild game as an allowable use of TEFAP administrative funds, which is intended to increase the amount and variety of protein-rich foods available to program participants. These changes are required by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill).

Prior to enactment of the 2008 Farm Bill on June 18, 2008, Section 202A of the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 (the EFAA), 7 USC 7501 et seq., required TEFAP state agencies to submit operating plans to USDA for approval every four years (7 USC 7503). This statutory requirement was reflected in program regulations at 7 CFR 251.6(b). The regulation required states to submit a plan for fiscal year 2001 by Aug. 15, 2000. Thereafter, the states were required to submit a plan every four years. Section 4201(b) of the Farm Bill amended Section 202A of the EFAA by making state plans permanent. This change was implemented by policy memorandum on July 16, 2008. This final rule amends 7 CFR 251.6(b) to make state plans permanent, bringing program regulations into compliance with the EFAA, as amended. This rule also deletes 251.6(c), Amendments, and moves the contents of the paragraph into 251.6(b).

Prior to enactment of the Farm Bill on June 18, 2008, § 204(a)(1) of the EFAA did not specifically include the processing of donated wild game as an allowable use of TEFAP administrative funds. Section 204(a)(1) and 7 CFR 251.8(e) did allow state agencies and eligible recipient agencies to use administrative funds to pay for certain direct and indirect costs associated with foods secured from sources other than TEFAP. While this section does not specifically address donations of wild game, it does allow the costs associated with transport, storage, handling, repackaging, processing, and distribution of foods secured from sources outside of TEFAP, as long as those foods are ultimately distributed to eligible recipient agencies for distribution to needy people.

As a matter of policy, FNS included donated wild game under the category of foods secured from other sources. Section 4201(c)(2) of the 2008 Farm Bill amended Section 204(a)(1) of the EFAA Act to specifically allow the use of TEFAP administrative funds to process and distribute donated wild game. This clarification was reflected in a policy memorandum on July 16, 2008. This final rule amends 7 CFR 251.8(e)(1)(i) to reflect that TEFAP administrative costs can be used to defray the eligible direct and indirect costs associated with donated wild game. This amendment will bring program regulations into compliance with the EFAA, as amended.

11/30/2009