If you or your family needs emergency food stamps, you will want to apply for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in order to get food on the table as soon as possible.
TEFAP, which is administered by the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a program that offers low-income and elderly Americans emergency food and nutrition assistance. It does so by providing USDA-donated foods at no cost.
If you and your family meet the qualifications for TEFAP, you may be able to apply for emergency food stamps through your State Distributing Agency (SDA), since the federal program is run at the state level. According to program guidelines, eligible households include public or private nonprofit organizations, households, and recipients of prepared meals. Through TEFAP, you and your family do not need to choose between food and other basic life necessities. You will be able to provide your family with nutritious USDA foods.
Now that you know what TEFAP is, you may be wondering how the program works. Through TEFAP, the USDA buys food, which includes the processing and packaging, and sends it to the states. According to program guidelines, the total amount of food that a state receives is based on its unemployed and low-income population.
Once the states receive the food, they must provide it to the local agencies, such as food banks, which then distribute the food to local organizations, like food pantries or soup kitchens that serve the public directly. Also, TEFAP provides other local organizations with foods that distribute it directly to low-income households, such as community action agencies. States also receive administrative funds that cover the cost of the storage and distribution of USDA foods. According to program rules, the funds must be passed down to local agencies.
Before you can determine if you can apply for emergency food stamps online, you must first see if you meet program guidelines.
Related Article: Food Stamps Eligibility Guidelines
According to TEFAP program guidelines, those considered eligible for emergency food assistance include public or private nonprofit organizations, households and recipients of prepared meals. Let’s take a closer look at each.
NOTE: When you apply for emergency food stamps, the USDA and its agencies, offices and employees cannot discriminate against applicants based on their race, national origin, sex, age or disability.
Now that you know that you qualify for emergency food stamps, you may be curious as to which foods are available through TEFAP. According to program guidelines, the kinds of foods that the USDA purchases for TEFAP depends on the preference of each state and the agriculture market conditions. However, there are almost 90 high-quality and nutritious products that are available. Categories of foods that are available through emergency snap benefits include:
For a more detailed catalog, you can find a complete list of foods available through TEFAP on the Food Distribution website.
If you receive aid through the emergency food assistance program, you may be wondering if you are eligible for additional FNS programs. According to program guidelines, TEFAP household may also be eligible for the following programs:
To apply for any of the above programs, you must do so directly.
You are now ready to apply for emergency food stamps since you now know that you meet program requirements. To sign up for TEFAP, you must do so by contacting your SDA, since the program is distributed at the state level. However, a list of state contacts can be found on the USDA’s website.
If you are a person with disabilities who need an alternative means of communication to receive TEFAP program information, such as large print, audiotape, American Sign Language or Braille, you should contact your SDA. If you are hard of hearing or deaf, or have a speech disability, you may contact the USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Lastly, you may be able to request information about the program in a language other than English.
Related Article: How to Apply for Food Stamps