When serving communities through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), it is important to consider a participant’s perspective on cultural and religious practices around food. The following FAQs are in response to a webinar FNS hosted: "Supporting Kosher and Halal-Observant Communities Through TEFAP."
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I find the factsheets for kosher and halal foods in TEFAP?
- Where can I find a list of organizations to support my work with kosher and halal observant communities, including questions regarding handling and storage of kosher and halal products?
USDA has partnered with several Jewish and Muslim organizations that are able to provide support to local agencies. For a list of Jewish organizations, please visit the "Additional Resources" section of the Kosher Foods in TEFAP webpage. For a list of Muslim organizations, please visit the "Additional Resources" section of the Halal Foods in TEFAP webpage.
- Are the kosher and halal certifications mutually exclusive?
No. Kosher and halal certifications are provided by different, third-party entities. If an item is certified halal, it does not mean that it will be acceptable to kosher observant participants. If an item is certified kosher, it does not mean that it will be acceptable to halal observant participants. It is important to work with leaders in your community to identify what certifications are accepted by your participants, as levels of observance may vary between communities.
- What kosher and halal certification symbols are allowed in USDA Foods?
USDA Foods meet high standards for quality and wholesomeness and must be produced and processed according to detailed USDA specifications, found on the AMS website. The products identified in these specifications that require a kosher or halal certification must bear one of the kosher and halal certification symbols illustrated in the “Exhibits” section of the specification document and shown below.
- What resources are available for school nutrition programs looking to offer kosher and halal menu items?
School nutrition operators looking for resources on serving kosher and halal meals to students can contact the advocacy organizations listed on the Kosher Foods in TEFAP and Halal Foods in TEFAP webpages. These organizations are available to support those groups looking to better support kosher and halal-observant communities.