Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Food Distribution Programs

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

Woman getting soup

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps improve the diets of low-income Americans, regardless of age, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. TEFAP plays a vital role in providing food assistance by supplementing other donated foods distributed by the emergency feeding organizations.

Under TEFAP, commodity foods are made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the states. The states provide the food to eligible recipient agencies that they have selected and which in turn distribute it to the needy through the local emergency feeding organizations (EFOs). These EFOs may include:

1. Food Banks - Provide donated food to other organizations like food pantries, soup kitchens, hunger relief centers, or other food or feeding centers. While some food banks may also operate a food pantry, most food banks do not issue food directly to individuals.

2. Food Pantries - Distribute food to low-income and unemployed households for home consumption.

3. Soup Kitchens and Other Feeding Sites - Provide meals to the needy and the homeless on a regular basis.

In Florida, the Recipient Agencies are selected by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, every four years, as a result of a competitive procurement process or bid. Those Recipient Agencies awarded a contract receive and are responsible for the distribution of all the TEFAP commodities in the county or counties awarded to them.

Print Resources

Related Topics

Related Links

Contact Us About The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness
Bureau of Food Distribution
407 South Calhoun Street
The Mayo Building, M39
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800

Cathy Quick, Bureau Chief
(850) 617-7170
(850) 617-7171 Fax

Back to Top

Contact Us