The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) serves about 595,000 low-income people each month, and is the only USDA nutrition program that provides monthly food assistance specially targeted at low-income seniors.[i] The program is designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of participants, supplementing diets with a monthly package of healthy, nutritious USDA commodities. With one in 12 households with seniors at risk of hunger nationwide, CSFP prevents vulnerable seniors from having to choose between food and other basic needs.
CSFP is a discretionary program funded each year through the federal appropriations process so the program may only serve as many eligible participants as funding allows. CSFP provides USDA commodities and administrative funds to States, which in turn store and transport the food to local agencies for distribution to low-income clients. Local distribution agencies are non-profits, and Feeding America food banks are a primary provider in 22 states.
While most participants either pick up their monthly CSFP food package at a food bank or other local sponsor or have a designee who is authorized to pick up their food package pick it up for them, some communities deliver the food package directly to the participant’s home, an important program feature for seniors with limited mobility.
CSFP Website: http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/programs/csfp/
CSFP Fact Sheets: http://www.fns.usda.gov/csfp/frequently-asked-questions
[i] U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Tentative CSFP Caseload and Administrative Funding 2013. December 2012. http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/programs/csfp/CSFP_Tentative_Caseload_Assignments_Memorandum_and_Worksheet-2013(2).pdf