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Commodity Supplemental Food Program Benefits

Program Description

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods. Women, infants, and children who were certified and receiving CSFP benefits as of February 6, 2014, can continue to receive assistance until they are no longer eligible under the program rules in effect on February 6, 2014.

CSFP is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Through CSFP, USDA distributes both food and administrative funds to participating States and Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs). CSFP food packages do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of the target population.

General Program Requirements

To be certified as eligible to receive USDA Foods through the program, individuals must be at least 60 years of age. As required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79), women, infants, and children who apply to participate in CSFP on February 7, 2014, or later cannot be certified to participate in the program. Such individuals may be eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other nutrition assistance programs.

States also establish income guidelines to determine program eligibility for all participants. For elderly persons, income guidelines must be set at or below 130 percent of Federal poverty income guidelines. For women, infants, and children who were certified and receiving benefits as of February 6, 2014, and whose enrollment has continued without interruption, separate income and adjunctive income eligibility standards continue to apply, based on program regulations.

States may require that participants be at nutritional risk, as determined by a physician or local agency staff. States may also require that an individual reside within the service area of the local agency at the time of application for program benefits. However, States may not require that the individual reside within the area for any fixed period of time.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

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. A list of State Contacts may be found on the Food Distribution website.

Program Contact Information

For more information, visit the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP's) homepage.

You may also email us at FDD-PSB@fns.usda.gov.

Additional Information

Length of Program: None
Tribes Funded by this Program: 2
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate): States had an assigned caseload of 604,000 in calendar year 2015.
Entities Eligible for Grant Assistance: Federally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations, Other Tribal/Native Entities, Non-Tribal/Non-Native Entities
Current Method of Tribal Eligibility: No Set-aside; Tribes Eligible with Other Entities
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program? Yes -- Tribes compete with 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Type of Assistance Provided: Grant
Recurring Base Funding for Tribes: No
Funding Type: Discretionary
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.565
Matching Funds Required: No
Can the funding from the program be renewed: Yes