The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

What is TEFAP?

The Emergency Food Assistance Program was created through the Emergency Assistance Act of 1983 and represents a partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers nationwide and state governments across the country. This partnership provides federal funds and food commodities to each state to be distributed to eligible agencies. Every state receives an allocation of funds and commodities based on population, poverty and unemployment rates. DHS is the TEFAP administering agency in Maryland that contracts with the Maryland Food Bank (MFB) and the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) to receive and store food available from USDA, and distributes it among eligible soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters in all 24 jurisdictions.

For more information about TEFAP, please visit the USDA’s website.

Contact: Nicole Freeman at

What type of foods are available?

The types of foods USDA purchases for TEFAP vary depending on the preferences of states and on agricultural market conditions. Examples of TEFAP products include:

  • canned fruits
  • canned vegetables
  • fruit juice
  • dried egg mix
  • meat/poultry/fish
  • dried beans
  • pasta products
  • milk
  • rice/grits/cereal
  • soups

For a complete list of TEFAP foods available, visit the Food Distribution website.

Finding the Nearest TEFAP Provider in Maryland

  1. Go to and look for the link at the top right of the homepage entitled “Find Food” if you live anywhere in Maryland other than Montgomery or Prince George’s counties.
  2. If you do live in Montgomery or Prince George’s counties, go to and look for the link at the top right of the homepage entitled “Get Help.”
  3. Input your zip code and select the number of miles you are willing/able to travel from home.
  4. These actions will enable you to receive a complete listing of food programs near your home including program name, type of food program, address, hours of operation and contact information.
  5. for more information on other food programs, other benefit programs or general assistance questions, visit, contact your local department of social services or call 2-1-1 Maryland.