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TEFAP Reach and Resiliency Grant Initiative

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Resource Materials

Overview of Grant

The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on our nation's food systems and economy, forcing millions of Americans to turn to the emergency food network for aid. Food banks, food pantries, and other community organizations have stepped up to meet the increase in need while simultaneously ensuring staff and recipient health and safety. We applaud them for these efforts, while also recognizing that the pandemic has exposed some inequities within our nation's broader emergency food network – especially in remote, rural, tribal, and/or low-income communities.

As the country rebounds from the pandemic, USDA is interested in building back better, so that TEFAP's collective reach spreads to all eligible individuals in need. In accordance with 7 CFR 251.4(k) and the Build Back Better initiative, the key objective of TEFAP Reach and Resiliency grants is to:

Expand TEFAP's reach into remote, rural, tribal, and/or low-income areas that are underserved by the program.

TEFAP Reach and Resiliency grants are providing state agencies with an opportunity to re-envision how they can work with currently participating organizations and/or new partner organizations to meet this objective.

photo of a home delivery volunteer with his boxes in the back of a pick-up truck
Pictured: David Ladd is a home delivery volunteer for the Northeast Michigan Community Services Agency based in Alpena, Michigan. On behalf of NEMSCA, David delivers TEFAP foods to homebound individuals in need throughout rural, northeast Michigan. NEMSCA is able to fund home delivery of TEFAP foods thanks to a TEFAP Reach and Resiliency – Round 1 grant that was awarded to Michigan’s TEFAP state agency, the Michigan Department of Education.

TEFAP Reach and Resiliency Projects

USDA made $100 million in TEFAP Reach and Resiliency Grant funding available to all TEFAP state agencies in FY 2022 and FY 2023, to carry out grant projects through FY 2025.

In June 2022, FNS awarded $39,419,932 in TEFAP Reach and Resiliency - Round 1 grants to 38 TEFAP state agencies. The 38 round 1 projects represent a variety of unique and impactful projects, each tailored to the specific needs of the requesting state/territory. Notable activities taking place with TEFAP Reach and Resiliency – Round 1 grant funds include:

  • Professional studies and assessments of TEFAP reach.
  • Cultural competency training for eligible recipient agency (ERA) staff.
  • Expanded mobile distribution infrastructure.
  • Critical freezing and cooling investments in rural areas.
  • Targeted outreach activities in tribal areas.

Round 1 projects are ongoing and will continue until summer 2024. To learn more about each state agency’s round 1 project, visit the round 1 project description page.

In June 2023, FNS awarded over $58.5 million in TEFAP Reach and Resiliency – Round 2 grants to 40 TEFAP state agencies, with a goal of further expanding TEFAP’s reach into remote, rural, tribal, and/or low-income areas that are underserved by current program operations. In other words, round 2 grant funding provides state agencies with another opportunity and additional resources to work with new and/or current partner organizations to expand the reach of TEFAP into underserved areas. Project activities in round 2 look similar to those currently being undertaken in round 1, and many projects build off of round 1 work that has been completed or is in progress. Among other activities, state agencies and their partners will use round 2 funding to:

  • Further expand mobile distribution and home delivery efforts.
  • Bolster cooling and freezing infrastructure.
  • Build new partnerships in remote, rural, tribal, and low-income areas.

Round 2 project activities will continue through summer 2025. To learn more about each state agency’s round 2 project, visit the round 2 project description page.

The below chart also outlines how much TEFAP Reach and Resiliency funding was awarded to each TEFAP state agency in total (round 1 and round 2 combined).

New Jersey$2,931,924
New Mexico$1,482,975
New York$6,055,035
North Carolina$3,468,726
North Dakota$695,214
South Carolina$1,773,924
South Dakota*$474,884
West Virginia$1,267,723

*State agency received only one round of funding.

Pictured: The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Reach and Resiliency - Round One project is focused on the expansion and enhancement of the state agency’s existing food distribution network. This includes the expansion of mobile pantry operations in remote, rural, and low-income areas throughout the state. With project funds, Eastern Illinois Foodbank (EIF) was able to purchase a trailer that could be used as a mobile pantry unit to service all 18 counties within their region. The new mobile unit is bringing much needed food resources to 50 zip codes that were previously not served by EIF and adding additional TEFAP service to zip codes with pantries that are only open once per month. As of December 2023, the mobile pantry has 82 stops per month and has been able to distribute around 200,000 pounds of food to nearly 5,000 households in need.
Truck with Eastern Illinois Foodbank Trailer


TEFAP Reach and Resiliency Resources

Visit the TEFAP webpage for general funding announcements, policy resources, and more.

Page updated: February 06, 2024