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The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

TEFAP IEG COVID-19 Sign-in Sheet

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) was initiated in 1981 to reduce inventories and storage costs of surplus USDA foods through distribution to needy households. While some surplus food is still distributed through TEFAP, Congress (since 1989) has appropriated funds to purchase additional USDA foods for households. South Dakota uses TEFAP USDA foods in the soup kitchens and food banks.

TEFAP was not designed to serve as a primary food source. It was designed as an outlet for surplus USDA foods, and it has effectively achieved that goal.

In South Dakota, the USDA donated food for distribution is sent to food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and community action programs. These agencies are referred to as eligible recipient agencies (ERA) and must be public or private non-profit agencies that meet the program requirements.

Recipient eligibility to receive USDA foods from food pantries is determined by completion of an intake application form provided by the food pantry indicating household and financial circumstances at or below 185% poverty level, name, number in household, and address. In South Dakota a family qualifing for reduced price meals qualifies them for this program. The chart giving the household sizes and income eligibility guidelines is found by clicking the red Child and Adult Nutrition Services tab.

Local TEFAP Contacts
  • Western South Dakota Community Action Agency
    1844 Lombardy Drive, Rapid City, South Dakota 57703
    (605) 348-1460 >
    Belle Fourche, Buffalo, Custer, Faith, Kadoka, Lead, Midland, Martin, Nisland, Rapid City, Spearfish, and Sturgis
  • Feeding South Dakota
    Aberdeen, Agency Village, Armour, Beresford, Bridgewater, Brookings, Cherry Creek, Dell Rapids, Freeman, Fort Thompson, Gregory, Herreid, Hoven, Humboldt, Huron, Ipswich, Little Eagle, Lower Brule, McIntosh, Midland, Miller, Mission, Mobridge, Oldham, Parkston, Parmelee, Reliance, Redfield, Philip, Pierre, Saint Francis, Sioux Falls and Vermillion.
  • South Dakota DOE-Child and Adult Nutrition Services
    Aberdeen, Elk Point, Flandreau, Howard, Huron, Lake Andes, Madison, Mitchell, Rapid City, Salem, Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Wagner and Winner

For information about this program please contact the CANS office at (605) 773-3413 or email your questions to DOE.SchoolLunch@state.sd.us.