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 or view our brochure for information on TEFAP In Maryland.

Contact: Randy Graybeal 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. Nearly 90 nutritious, high-quality products are available, including:

  • 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 foods available through TEFAP in FY 2017, visit the Food Distribution website.

Where can I get TEFAP food?

Use the following map to locate Emergency Food Organizations near you.