The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
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.
TEFAP commodities are provided to each of the state-contracted Recipient Agencies according to the counties they serve. Each county’s share is determined using a formula that bases the allocation on each county’s relative share of the state’s total number of persons with incomes below the poverty line and the total number of unemployed persons. This formula, which is similar to the one used by the federal government to allocate resources to the states, is adjusted annually.
To be eligible to receive commodities, an organization must be: (1) public or, if private, must possess tax exempt status pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code (if does not have a letter of tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service, must be automatically tax exempt as “organized or operated exclusively for religious purposes” under the IRC); (2) is not a penal institution; and (3) provides food assistance exclusively to needy persons for household consumption or predominantly to needy persons in the form of prepared meals.
The state-contracted Recipient Agencies provide TEFAP commodities and other donated foods to the local food pantries, soup kitchens and other food or feeding organizations for distribution to eligible individuals. Organizations interested in distributing TEFAP commodities in addition to other donated foods must enter into a written agreement with the Recipient Agency contracted to serve that county. For information on the availability and criteria for distributing donated foods and to locate the state-contracted Recipient Agency for a particular county, go to “Locate Food Banks by County for Info on TEFAP Commodities,” at the link below.