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The Emergency Food Assistance Program


In 1981, TEFAP was initiated to distribute surplus commodities in government storage. Cheese, butter, and corn meal were among the first commodities distributed. Currently, TEFAP foods include, but are not limited to, canned fruits, juices, beef and pork, instant milk, dry pasta, and baking mix.

TEFAP is funded through the federal government. TEFAP food distributed in subsequent years is listed on the state web site. 


Whenever surplus foods are allocated by the United States Department of Agriculture to Pennsylvania, they are re-allocated to each County Coordinating Agency based on poverty and unemployment levels in their respective areas.


To receive donated foods under the Title II Program, a family must be identified as needy by meeting any one of the following criteria:

  1. Participation in the Department of Public Welfare’s Public Assistance Program (receiving cash assistance)
  2. Participation in the Food Stamp Program
  3. Participation in the Medicaid Program
  4. Participation in the Supplemental Social Security Income Program
  5. Participation based upon total family income* for the following persons:
    1. Senior citizens age 65 and older
    2. Disabled veterans
    3. Employed and unemployed individuals

Target Population

Senior Citizens, disabled veterans, the unemployed, and others who are in need.


No eligible individual receiving commodities under the program will be required to make payment in money or material or be required to perform any services for commodities received.                                  

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