Private nonprofit organizations that provide food
and nutrition assistance to the needy through the distribution
of food for home use or the preparation of meals must follow
Households that meet State eligibility
criteria. Each State sets criteria for determining what
households are eligible to receive food for home consumption.
Income standards may, at the State’s discretion, be met through
participation in other existing Federal, State, or local food,
health, or welfare programs for which eligibility is based on
States can adjust the income criteria in order
to ensure that assistance is provided only to those households
most in need. However, recipients of prepared meals are
considered to be needy and are not subject to a means test.
Homeless people, including low-income senior citizens are
eligible to participate in TEFAP. Homeless people can
receive prepared meals served in a congregate setting without
submitting an application. However, homeless people must meet
State income eligibility requirements in order to receive TEFAP
food that is not served in prepared meals.
For more information about TEFAP and how it