The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides nutritional assistance to low-income Americans. Through this program, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) selects regional organizations like the St. Louis Area Foodbank to distribute highly nutritious food to those in need. 


The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing nutrition assistance at no cost. Through TEFAP, the USDA purchases food, and makes it available to state distributing agencies like the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Under TEFAP, states also receive administrative funds to support the storage and distribution of USDA foods. These funds must, in part, be passed down to local agencies.



The St. Louis Area Foodbank is the sole nonprofit distributor of USDA product for both eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois.

Food is distributed based on unemployment and poverty levels in the state.

The amount of food we receive is based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people with incomes below the poverty level in the state. We distribute the food provided by the states to local organizations, such as soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public.

Income guidelines and residency restrictions apply.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:


U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or


(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Are you in need of food?

Find a nearby pantry or a food distribution event near you!