The Emergency Food Assistance Program

What is TEFAP?

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost.

Through TEFAP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases a variety of nutritious, high-quality USDA Foods, and makes those foods available to states. DHR is the State Distributing Agency in Maryland. The amount of food Maryland and other states receive is based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people with incomes below the poverty level in the state. In Maryland, TEFAP food is provided to the Maryland Food Bank and the Capital Area Food Bank, which in turn distribute the food to more than 650 local organizations, such as soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public.

For more information about TEFAP, please visit the USDA’s website or for information on TEFAP In Maryland, click here.

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 2014, visit the Food Distribution website.

Where can I get TEFAP food?


Estimated Funding Levels and Allocations – Federal Fiscal Year 2015

Maryland Food Bank serves 22 jurisdictions and therefore will receive 73% of available food and administrative funds during the 2015 federal fiscal year (October 2014 – September 2015). Capital Area Food Bank serves 2 jurisdictions – Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties—and will receive 27% of available funds.

DHR Distribution to Grantees – 2015 Estimates

Grantee Allocation
Maryland Food Bank 73%
Capital Area Food Bank 27%


2015 Projections: Food that will be delivered to distribution sites state-wide

Jurisdiction Allocation – Lbs of Food**
Allegany County 1.82%
Anne Arundel County 7.05%
Baltimore City 20.84%
Baltimore County 13.57%
Calvert County 1.00%
Caroline County 0.70%
Carroll County 2.04%
Cecil County 1.82%
Charles County 2.07%
Dorchester County 0.87%
Frederick County 2.91%
Garrett County 0.66%
Harford County 3.80%
Howard County 3.13%
Kent County 0.38%
Montgomery County 12.37%
Prince George’s County 14.61%
Queen Anne’s County 0.70%
Somerset County 0.78%
St. Mary’s County 1.48%
Talbot County 0.56%
Washington County 3.02%
Wicomico County 2.59%
Worcester County 1.23%
Total 100%

: Jurisdiction served by Capital Area Food Bank
**: Developed using a formula that accounts for jurisdiction population, poverty, and unemployment rates

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.