Food and Nutrition Resources

If you are interested in emergency food stamps that offer food and nutrition resources to low income or elderly families, you can choose from programs like TEFAP, D-SNAP and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

Each program is administered by the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to provide aid to program recipients.

With programs like TEFAP and disaster SNAP benefits, aid is provided for families in times of emergencies and natural disasters, while FDPIR is often administered in areas where Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is not. If you live in the United States, you do not have to choose between feeding your family and other necessities. Therefore, if you would like to learn more about food and nutrition resources, continue to read the below sections.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

If your family needs emergency food assistance, you can apply for TEFAP. Through TEFAP, USDA foods are donated to low-income and elderly households at no cost. According to program guidelines, eligible TEFAP households include public or private nonprofit organizations, households and recipients of prepared meals. Once you meet TEFAP requirements, you must apply for the program through your State Distributing Agency (SDA), since the program is run at the state level. However, a list of state contacts can be found on the USDA’s website. According to TEFAP guidelines, the total amount of food that a state receives is based on its unemployed and low-income population.

Related Article: Other Food Assistance Programs

If you are eligible for emergency SNAP benefits, you can choose from almost 90 high-quality and nutritious products. These products include fruits like apples, oranges and pears and vegetables like green beans, carrots and peas. They also include dairy items likes cheeses and milk and protein foods like beef, chicken, tuna, and eggs. With the vast array of foods, you and your family can make many combinations of healthy and nutritious meals.

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

Not all food and nutrition programs are long-term. If you are affected by a disaster or emergency, you can apply for disaster SNAP benefits through D-SNAP. D-SNAP is authorized by the FNS to provide qualifying low-income households with short-term aid. You should know that D-SNAP is different than SNAP since it only assists low-income families suffering from loss of food or damage after a natural disaster. However, if you are a current SNAP beneficiary, you can request replacement benefits for foods that were lost in a natural disaster that was purchased with SNAP benefits. If you do not typically qualify for benefits, you may be eligible for D-SNAP since the program guidelines are different.

According to disaster food assistance guidelines, each eligible household will receive one month of benefits, which is equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits that a SNAP household of the same sizes is typically issued. To be eligible for D-SNAP benefits, you must incur a disaster-related expense, such as a relocation or evacuation expense, a business or home protection expense or a personal injury expense that is related to a disaster. If you are interested in applying for D-SNAP, you can apply directly through your state. If your application is approved, you will be issued an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which works like a debit card. D-SNAP benefits are granted to qualifying applications within 72 hours of the application process. Then, you can use your card to buy food at participating grocery stores.

Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Lastly, you may want to look into the FDPIR if you are seeking food and nutrition aid. FDPIR is administered by the FNS to operate locally through Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) or an agency of a state government to offer food to income-eligible households. To qualify for the program, you must live on an Indian reservation or be a Native American household that resides in a designated area near a reservation or in Oklahoma. You must also be a member of a low-income household, which includes the elderly. Finally, at least one person in the household must be a member of a federally-recognized tribe.

According to program guidelines, many households enroll in FDPIR as an alternative to SNAP because their household does not have quick access to SNAP offices or food stores that authorized purchases. However, you should you cannot participate in SNAP and FDPIR benefits in the same month. To apply for FDPIR benefits, you must contact your local SDA or ITO. You can also contact the FNS Regional Office where you live for further assistance.

If your application is approved, you will receive a food package each month. With over 100 food items, you can choose from a variety of healthy and nutritious foods. Available foods for FDPIR recipients include meats such as chicken, pork chops and roast beef, canned goods like vegetables, fruits, and soups, dairy products like eggs and milk, and baking good such as flour and bakery mixes. If you prefer, you can choose fresh produce instead of canned vegetables and fruits.

Learn More About Food and Nutrition Resources

If you are interested in learning about emergency food stamps and food and nutrition resources in the United States, you have several options to explore. Whether it is short-term or long-term resources, you are exploring programs that can better the lives of your family. You are also bringing healthy foods into your home that you might otherwise not introduce to your family.

If you would like to learn more about the various food and nutrition resources available to you, you can continue to read the following pages. However, no matter what you take out of the information you read, you are one step closer to obtaining food and nutrition resources for you and your family, and to improving the types of meals that they eat.

Related Article: How to Apply for Food Stamps

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