The Emergency Food Assistance Program

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

The Texas Department of Agriculture supports local food banks and food pantries serving the public through the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

The program provides nutritious foods at no cost to low-income Texans while supporting United States agriculture producers.

How to Get Food

  1. Contact a food bank near you to find a site distributing TEFAP food. Use our Find Food Now tool or visit SquareMeals.org/TXFoodBanks to see other participating Texas Food Banks. For more resources, including printable lists of upcoming food distributions, visit our Get Help page. 
     
  2. Go to the recommended location during their hours of operation and ask to apply for TEFAP.
     
  3. Meet with a staff member to complete the TEFAP application process.
     
    • For the application you will need to provide your name, address, phone number, current public assistance received, and total household income.
       
    • Staff will also have information about other food programs you may qualify for.
       
  4. Food bank staff will provide further instructions for food pick up. TEFAP food is available on a first-come, first-served basis. TEFAP food may include additional food the food pantry purchases or receives through donations. Staff members and volunteers at the site will be available to answer questions and assist with loading food into vehicles if needed.

TEFAP food is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. TEFAP food may include additional food the food pantry purchases or received through donations. Staff members and volunteers at the site will be available to answer questions and assist with loading food into vehicles.

Your Right to Receive Food

When you get food from a Food Bank partner, you are entitled to basic rights. 

  • You are entitled to receive food and/or meals at no cost.
     
  • You are NOT required to participate in a religious event or pay dues as a condition of receiving food.
     
  • You will NOT be refused service or discriminated against based on your race, color, age, religion, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
     
  • You will be treated with respect and dignity at all times.
     
  • You are NOT required to show proof of income, identification, citizenship, driver's license, social security card, birth certificate, or any other documentation.

If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact us at 512-282-2111.

What to Expect When Visiting a Food Pantry, Food Distribution or Mobile Food Pantry

When you arrive, the agency representative will ask you to fill out a basic form to show that you live in the area and ask that you declare that you need help with food.

Consider bringing a food cart or several reusable bags to take your food to your final destination. Assistance may be limited. Be sure to ask how often you may visit or use services.

Many of our partners provide additional support services such as help paying for bills, job training, health services and help with transportation. You may be required to provide additional information to the agency to receive help.     

Is the weather bad? Is it a holiday? Call our hotline to see if any of our food distributions are canceled:  512-684-2559.

Texas Emergency Food Assistance Program Banner

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/ad-3027.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (833) 620-1071, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to:

mail:
Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
1320 Braddock Place, Room 334
Alexandria, VA 22314; or

fax:
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

email:
FNSCIVILRIGHTSCOMPLAINTS@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.