The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)


Through TEFAP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases USDA Foods, including processing and packaging, and makes it available to State Distributing Agencies. The amount of food that each State receives out of the total amount of food that is provided is based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people with incomes below the poverty level in the State. States provide the food to local agencies that they have selected, usually food banks, which in turn, distribute the food to local organizations such as soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public.

Get Food Assistance

Contact Your Regional Food Bank

The table below shows the coverage area by county for each of the eight regional food banks in New York State. If you need emergency food assistance, please call the food bank in your county. The food bank will assist you in finding the nearest food pantry.


Food Bank Counties Served Phone
Food Bank for New York City Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond (718) 991-4300
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington (518) 786-3691
FeedMore WNY Cattaraugus, Chatauqua, Erie, Niagara (716) 852-1305
Food Bank of Central NY Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence (315) 437-1899
FoodLink Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates (585) 328-3380
Long Island Cares Nassau, Suffolk (631) 582-3663
Food Bank of the Southern Tier Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins (607) 796-6061
Feeding Westchester Westchester (914) 923-1100

Am I Eligible?

Effective November 1, 2019 the New York State TEFAP eligibility guidelines concerning products for household consumption were updated to at or below 200% of the federal income poverty levels. The table below has been updated to reflect this change.

Recipients are also categorically eligible for TEFAP products for household consumption if they participate in one or more of the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Free and Reduced School Meals or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).


Household Size

Annual Income

















Each Additional Add



  • The information on these new guidelines will need to be distributed to all TEFAP recipient agencies. RAs may elect to include this information on their intake forms and may also update income posters at distribution sites.
  • Food banks will need to inform all TEFAP recipient agencies of the annual attestation requirement [Part 251.5(b)]. TEFAP recipients must attest to income eligibility at a minimum of once a year.


Requirements for Food Banks 

  • Annual Financial Reports: Food banks are required to submit Financial Reports to OGS every year no later than nine months from the fiscal year end. The TEFAP fiscal year mirrors the federal fiscal year, which runs October 1 – September 30.
  • Monthly Performance Report: Food banks are required to submit a monthly performance report. The report must be received by OGS no later than the 10th of the month following the month being reported on. The report must include: beginning commodity/material codes; adjustment column for damages; best by or use by dates; and remaining balance.
  • Food Bank Recipient Agency List: A current list of all food bank recipient agencies must be sent to OGS once a year.
  • WBSCM Receipting: Receipting in WBSCM of all USDA commodities must be completed within two calendar days. (FNS 709-5 Rev 3 Shipment and Receipt of USDA Foods)
  • Administrative Claim Form: A claim form must be sent each month to receive administrative funding.
  • Food bank contact information must be kept up-to-date with the OGS TEFAP Specialist, including contact information for back-up personnel for timely issues such as commodity ordering.
  • Food banks should not have more than a six-month inventory of USDA Foods and food banks should be distributing USDA Foods in less than six months from the date of receipt and well before it’s best-by date.


Damage Reporting
  • All damages must be reported and approved by the OGS TEFAP Specialist before discarding.
  • Commodity Complaint Form must be completed for all hidden damage and sent to OGS.
  • Commodity Damage Report must be completed for all warehouse damage and sent to OGS.


Physical Inventories of Food Banks

The Office of General Services is federally-mandated to complete a facility review and physical inventory of USDA Foods at all New York State Food Banks at least once annually.

Prior to our arrival please ensure:

  1. You have completed your physical count of the number of cases in inventory;
  2. USDA foods are segregated from commercial foods as practicable and/or clearly identifiable, viewable, and accessible for counting; and
  3. Book inventory reports are complete and up-to-date.

Upon our arrival:

  1. Please provide a copy of your current book inventory. (This book inventory/report will contain USDA commodity names, USDA codes, quantity and bin location.)
  2. Please have a member of your staff and necessary equipment available to assist with the count;
  3. Be prepared to compare your inventory numbers against our counts; and
  4. Be prepared to recount any differences (we must agree to the number of cases in stock).
  5. Have a food bank representative available to sign off on the physical count. (Should there be discrepancies, the food bank representative will sign the report and make the necessary notations regarding these discrepancies.)

If Food Distribution staff is unable to conduct the physical inventory due to the points above, the appointment will be terminated and the food bank will be held liable for the travel expenses of OGS staff.

Also, please have a complete listing of your recipient agencies and contact information available. We will be conducting RA reviews while in the area, as time permits.

New York State Policy

USDA Policy and New York Food Banks 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.

Although it is the policy of the USDA and FNS, as so stated above, to provide fair and equitable treatment to every employee and customer, there are specific laws and regulations that provide for the protected bases for each nutritional assistance program. For this reason, sexual orientation, marital or family status, parental status, and protected genetic information are not protected bases in FNS federally assisted programs.

The TEFAP Program and applicable protected bases:

  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. National Origin
  4. Age
  5. Sex
  6. Disability

All food banks in New York will need to read, understand and apply all USDA policies as outlined in FNS-113-1.

Civil Rights Training Slideshow


USDA Policy and Instructions Links