The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federally funded program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. Under TEFAP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes commodity foods available to state distributing agencies.
The DES Coordinated Hunger Relief Program collaborates with federal, state, and local organizations that provide food assistance to the hungry and contracts with various hunger relief organizations to maximize resources.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. It is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) division.
TEFAP foods are purchased by the state from USDA FNS and distributed as Emergency Food Packages and in meals served at Congregate Feeding Sites (Soup Kitchens).
Participants can receive a TEFAP package for their household at least once a month by visiting their local Distribution Site (Food Pantry). The food inside these packages are shelf-stable which means they don’t require refrigeration. Items may include canned or dried fruits, vegetables and legumes (beans), bottles juices, and nuts.
Food packages are often supplemented with fresh produce, grains, pasta, bread and meat-based protein.
A congregate meal that includes TEFAP foods is a nutritious, hot meal provided at least once a day to an eligible participant at a nutrition site, senior center or other group setting. Congregate sites may also offer a variety of health-related services such as transportation, health screening, social service referrals, legal assistance, physical and social activities and volunteer opportunities.
For more information about TEFAP, please visit www.fns.usda.gov/tefap
A Household is eligible to receive a TEFAP package if the total gross income for the household does not exceed 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. See following table.
Persons receiving SNAP (food stamp) benefits are automatically eligible to receive TEFAP
|Household Size||Annual||Monthly||Twice Monthly||Bi-Weekly||Weekly|
|For each additional person:||Add $8,732||Add $728||Add $364||Add $336||Add $168|
Example: To qualify for TEFAP, the gross income of a household containing 3 people cannot exceed $42,606 per year
There is no formal eligibility requirement to receive a meal from a Congregate Feeding Site. An individual only needs to go to the site and say that he/she is in need.
Applications are usually completed at the Distribution site by speaking to a worker who puts a participant’s information into a computer. The information is recorded as a requirement of the program and kept confidential.
Please read below to find your local site, items to bring and what to expect when you get there.
Sites will show if they have a “dining room” which means they also offer congregate meal services.
Please bring a photo ID with you when picking up a TEFAP package.
If your photo ID does not reflect your current address, please also bring a document such as a utility bill, lease agreement or a letter from an official Arizona agency that shows your current address.
If you are experiencing homelessness, be sure to know the cross-streets or location where you stay at night.
When you get to the site, you will be asked to provide information including your name, address, phone number, date of birth and household size (number of people living in your home with you).
You will also be asked to confirm that you meet the current income eligibility, you will not sell, trade, barter or exchange TEFAP food for service, and that you live in the geographic area served by the site.
There is no formal application requirement to receive a meal from a Congregate Feeding Site. An individual only needs to go to the site and say that he/she is in need.
Arizona has several locations state-wide that provide TEFAP foods to eligible persons in need. Click the link below to find food assistance and other community services in your area.