(MoneyHippo.com) – The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a governmental initiative that allows the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to buy nutritious provisions and supply them to low-income families for free. Although the program doesn’t directly feed the hungry, it furnishes other associations so they can provide for the needy within each state. To receive the assistance, you must meet the state’s criteria, which vary, but center around income, generally requiring recipients to be at or below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Food banks, soup kitchens, and other such organizations must meet specific parameters to qualify for the USDA program to assist qualifying families. Some provide fresh items, while others send a boxed supply of shelf-stable sustenance or both.
To see if you qualify for TEFAP supplemental food assistance, take the quiz on the Benefits.gov website. If you think you’re eligible, visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service site and click on your state. That will show you the available programs in your region. From there:
- Navigate to The Emergency Food Assistance Program and click on the link
- Use the contact information within the box to email the coordinator, or
- Choose the Regional Offices Contacts link and call the appropriate phone number within
Once you have a point of contact, ask about qualifying for this and other programs, which will likely include income verification for your household. Your state contact will guide you through the application process and direct you to the location(s) where you can collect your provisions.
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