Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (also known as CSFP) is available to qualifying low-income seniors who meet age and income restrictions that are part of this beneficial program.

As part of this program, elderly citizens receive food packages to supplement their diets, including lean proteins, grains, dairy products and canned fruits or vegetables, as these foods help program recipients to live healthier lives. However, certain women, infants and children may continue to receive these benefits as well if they received certification prior to February 6, 2014.

Moreover, the Commodity Food Program is available through the federal Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). During the 2017 fiscal year, the program assisted an average number of 630,000 beneficiaries per month. While beneficiaries generally need to meet age and income restrictions, applicants may also need to meet additional nutritional risk requirements in some states. To learn more about this program and how to apply, review the information below.

What is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for seniors?

The Commodity Food Program supplements the diets of qualifying senior citizens who meet age, income and residency requirements. Through the CSFP Program, qualifying beneficiaries who reside in certain parts of the U.S. receive nutritional counseling and free food packages that include the following items:

  • Canned or bottled juices
  • Canned fruits and vegetables, including spaghetti sauce, green beans, carrots, corn, mixed vegetables, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomato juice, diced tomatoes and spinach
  • Dried beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned tuna, chicken and beef
  • Shelf-stable milks
  • Instant nonfat dry milks
  • Cheeses
  • Dried rice and pasta
  • Cereals and oats

Related Article: What can I buy with food stamps?

Note: Depending on market availability, eligible food items will vary. Additionally, the program is not available in all states and Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs).

Who can apply for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program?

The Commodity Food Program for seniors supplements the diets of elderly citizens who are at least 60 years of age and meet income requirements depending on the size of their household. Additionally, applicants must reside on an ITO that participates in the program, or in a participating state, as not all State Agencies administer these food benefits. The only state and territory that do not participate in the CFPS program are Alabama and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

While the Commodity Food Program was once available to seniors and low-income women and children, non-elderly beneficiaries may only receive these benefits if they became eligible for the program prior to February 6, 2014, when the eligibility requirements changed. Once their current certification period ends, they will not be able to reapply, as only low-income elderly citizens may obtain benefits under this program. Instead, low-income women and children may apply for benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Note: If applicants are eligible for CSFP Program benefits, they may not participate in WIC at the same time.

What are the Commodity Food Program income requirements?

To be eligible for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, seniors must live in a household with an income that does not exceed 130 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). For qualifying children that remain on the program, their household income must fall within 100 and 185 percent of the FPL.

To learn more about these Senior Commodity Food Program income requirements, refer to the following chart:

Household

Size

Annual Income 130%

of FPL – 48 Contiguous States

Annual Income 130%

of FPL – Alaska

Annual Income 130%

of FPL – Hawaii

 

1 $15,782 $19,734 $18,148
2 $21,398 $26,754 $24,609
3 $27,014 $33,774 $31,070
4 $32,630 $40,794 $37,531
5 $38,246 $47,814 $43,992
6 $43,862 $54,834 $50,453
7 $49,478 $61,854 $56,914
8 $55,094 $68,874 $63,375
Additional members Add $5,616 Add $7,020 Add $6,461

 

How to Apply to CSFP Programs

While the process of applying to a Commodity Supplemental Food Program varies by state, qualifying seniors can get started by contacting the distributing agency in the state where they live. To obtain state-specific contact information, refer to the chart below.

State State

Agency

Telephone Number State State

Agency

Telephone Number
AK Department of Health & Social Services 907-465-8629 MT Department of Public Health & Human Services 406-447-4262
AZ Department of Economic Security 602-542-3019 NE Department of Health & Human Services 402471-0189
AR Department of Human Services 501-371-1400 NV Department of Agriculture 775-353-3625
CA Department of Social Services 916-229-3343 NH Department of Health & Human Services 603-271-4546
CO Department of Human Services 303-866-3113 NJ Department of Health 609-292-9560
CT Adult Services Division/Food Stamp Unit 860-424-5429 NM Food & Nutrition Services Bureau 505-841-2696
DC Department of Health 202-442-9140 NY State Department of Health 518-402-7400
DE Department of Elder Affairs 302-838-8060 NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services 919-575-4490, ext. 206
FL Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services 850-617-7435 ND Department of Public Instruction 1-888-338-3663
GA Department of Human Resources 404-657-3605 OK Department of Human Services 405-521-6472
HI Office of Community Services 808-586-8696 OR Department of Human Services 503-945-6368
ID Commission on Aging 208-334-3822, ext. 228 OH Office of Family Services 614-466-4815
IL Department of Human Services 217-524-1231 PA Department of Agriculture 717-772-2688
IN State Department of Health 317-234-8230 RI Department of Human Services, Division of Elderly Affairs 401-462-0931
IA Department of Human Services 515-281-5410 SC Department of Social Services 803-898-0973
KS Department for Children & Families 785-368-8120 SD Department of Education 605-773-3413
KY Department of Agriculture 502-782-9241 TN Department of Health, Nutrition, & Wellness 615-741-7218
LA Office of Public Health/Nutrition Services 225-342-8254 TX Department of Agriculture 1-877-TEX-MEAL
MA Department of Elementary & Secondary Education 781-338-6460 UT Department of Health 801-538-6026
MD Department of Aging 410-767-6032 VT Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living 802-871-3214
ME Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry 207-287-7513 VA Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services 804-786-3936
MI Office of School Support Services 517-373-2313 WA Department of Agriculture 360-725-5651
MN Department of Health 651-201-4422 WV Department of Agriculture 304-558-0573
MS Department of Health 601-987-4677 WI Department of Health Services 608-266-3821
MO Department of Health & Senior Services 573-751-6269 WY Department of Family Services 307-777-6082

 

In Puerto Rico, applicants must contact the Department of the Family at 787-289-7600, extension 2313.

Moreover, Commodity Nutrition Program applicants who reside on a participating Indian reservation may refer to the following contact information:

Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) Telephone Number
Minnesota, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians 218-679-3720
Oglala Sioux, Oglala Sioux Tribe 605-867-5511
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma 405-382-3900

 

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