Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) manages TEFAP, receiving food and operational funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for distribution to 19 lead contractors statewide. These contractors provide food to over 500 food banks, food pantries, shelters, and meal providers in Washington. They serve hungry lower-income children, adults, elderly, and the homeless.
TEFAP foods include a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, rice, and dairy. While most food comes in shelf-stable form, fresh and frozen commodities are also found in TEFAP distributions. The emphasis in the last few years has been on healthier foods which includes more low-sodium, low-fat, and fresh options.
TEFAP Contract Process
What Providers are Eligible to Participate?
Eligible providers, typically food pantries and emergency meal providers, apply directly to their lead contractor for consideration to participate in the program. At a minimum:
- Providers must be a registered 501(c)(3) or have submitted an application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting tax-exempt status.
- Providers must agree to abide by all applicable federal and state requirements, program policies and procedures, including but not limited to: submit required reports, including monthly inventory, practice nondiscrimination in providing services; and not require participation in religious ceremonies or charge fees for services.