TEFAP: The Emergency Food Assistance Program

TEFAP: The Emergency Food Assistance Program

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that provides food commodities to Americans in need of hunger relief through food providers like emergency food pantries, food banks, soup kitchens and shelters. If you need food assistance, you may be eligible to receive TEFAP food from food pantries, or prepared meals at meal sites.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible if you meet certain criteria set by the State of Iowa. Please feel free to contact the Food Bank of Siouxland for more information.

What are food pantries and free meal programs?

Food pantries are places where people can receive food assistance at no cost for home preparation.

Free meal programs, such as those provided at prepared meal sites, are places where people can receive prepared meals at no cost. The Siouxland Soup Kitchen is an example.

What types of food are available?

The groceries provided usually include a variety of canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, beans, rice and/or grain products. The protein items may include canned salmon, tuna, peanut butter, and occasionally chicken or meat.

The food assistance is intended to be a supplement. Supplies and amounts vary; typically the foods will provide groceries for a period of 3-5 days.

What do I need to bring to get the food?

Bringing your identification and/or proof of residence, such as a utility bill, can make the process smoother. Calling the pantry or meal site you intend to visit will help verify what information you need, and helps confirm the hours of service for that particular organization.You should expect to complete a brief eligibility application when you pick up the food.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race,color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.