Emergency Food Assistance Program (Administrative Costs)

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Food and Nutrition Service regional office contacts listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

Provided funds to State agencies and local organizations to process, store, and distribute USDA and privately-donated commodities to needy persons and to organizations for use in preparing meals at congregate meal sites.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Administrative funds are provided to State agencies to cover administrative costs incurred at the State and local level in the operation of the program.

Funds may only be used for approved administrative expenses, and the State agency is required to pass-through at least 40% of the funds to emergency feeding organizations.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State agencies that are designated as distributing agencies by the Governor, legislature or other authority may receive these administrative funds to support the distribution of commodities to the needy.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public or private non-profit organizations which provide food assistance to the needy.


State agencies and local organizations are required to document their use of the administrative funds, and only those administrative costs permitted under OMB Circular No. A-87, as implemented at 2 CFR Part 225, for State and local governments will be allowed.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Not necessary; all States are eligible to participate. However, this program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-102, as implemented by 7 CFR Part 3016. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Administrative funds are allocated among the States on the basis of a legislatively-mandated formula that takes into account each State's relative share of the National number of persons with income below the poverty level (60%) and of unemployed persons (40%). At a minimum, States must make at least 40% of the administrative grant available to emergency feeding organizations, or expend such funds on their behalf. In addition, the States must match, either in cash or inkind, the amount of administrative funds not passed-through to emergency feeding organizations.




Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983, Section 204, Public Law 98-8, 97 Stat. 35, 7 U.S.C. 7508; Federal Supplemental Compensation Act of 1982 Amendments, Section 2, as amended, Public Law 98-92, 97 Stat. 608; Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, Section 1569, Public Law 99-198, 99 Stat. 1354; Public Law 100-77, 101 Stat. 536; Public Law 100-435, 102 Stat. 1647; Public Law 101-624, 104 Stat. 3359; Public Law 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105; Public Law 104-127, 110 Stat. 1029; Public Law 107-171, 116 Stat. 330.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time





Federal/State agreements are ongoing and amended as necessary. Local organizations receiving administrative funds must have an agreement with the State agency or with another local organization participating in the program. Such agreements are ongoing and amended as necessary.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Funds for administration of the program are allocated among the States based on a legislatively-mandated formula. The allocation formula is based in part (60 percent) on the number of people whose income is below the poverty level and in part (40 percent) on the number of unemployed persons. Including appropriations, recoveries and conversions of commodity funds into administrative funds, $58 million was availale Nationally for TEFAP administration in FY 07. States are required to pass-through to emergency feeding organizations at least 40 percent of the administrative funds allocated to the State. In addition, States are required to match, either in cash or inkind, 100 percent of the administrative funds not passed-through to emergency feeding organizations.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are provided through the electronic transfer system as they are needed for actual expenditures on a fiscal year basis. Any funds which are made available through the initial allocation or a subsequent reallocation that are not used are turned back to the Federal government.

Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly and annual financial reports are made on FCS-667.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," State and local governments and non-profit organizations that expend Federal financial assistance of $500,000 or more within any fiscal year shall have either a single audit or (in certain cases) a program specific audit made for that year. Audits may be conducted less frequently under conditions specified in OMB Circular No. A-133.


Normal records accounting for receipts and dispersals; retention required for 3 years following the close of the fiscal year or until any outstanding audit, claim, or litigation is settled.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $58,026,690; FY 08 est $49,650,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range was $10,416 to $7,323,436; the Average was $1,055,131.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFRPart 251; refer to 7 CFR Part 250 for applicable provisions on commodity handling.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Food and Nutrition Service regional office contacts listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Food Distribution Division, FNS, USDA, Room 500, Park Office Center, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302. Contact: Cathie McCullough, Director. Telephone: (703) 305-2680.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals


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