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Commodity Supplemental Food Program | Eligibility, Food Package & How to Apply ?

Commodity Supplemental Food Program

What is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) ?

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a food and nutrition supplement run by the United States Department of Agriculture that is designed to provide nutritious and healthy food each month at no cost to eligible individuals. 

The CSFP offers adults over 60 who qualify for it free access to nutrient-rich food supplies to meet their nutritional needs. Through monthly senior food boxes, the CSFP offers nutritious foods to seniors.

The CSFP monthly food package includes nutrient-rich foods that help prevent health issues from occurring and enhance the health of those who may be at a high nutritional risk due to low income and a poor diet. The canned foods (fruit, vegetables, meat, or fish) are included in the food packages, along with juice in bottles, shelf-stable and quick dry milk, cheese, pasta or rice, dry beans or peanut butter, and cereal.

The majority of participants pick up their CSFP food box each month from a food bank or another nearby sponsor. Participants may also arrange for a designated representative to pick up their meal supply. For seniors with limited mobility, several localities offer a crucial program element that delivers the food box directly to the participant's house.

Key Facts of Commodity Supplemental Food Program

  • The CSFP offers additional food packages from the US Department of Agriculture to low-income seniors who are at least 60 years old.
  • One of the Food and Nutrition Service's 15 federally supported nutrition assistance programs is the CSFP.
  • Currently, the CSFP provides monthly services to around 600,000 low-income individuals.
  • The initiative offers free dry food bags per month that include grains, fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy, as well as other main food groups.
  • Seniors who have earnings at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Line (about $15,301 for a senior living alone) are eligible for CSFP services.
  • Seniors in need are assisted by CSFP in making decisions regarding food and other necessities.
  • Approximately 3 million volunteer hours, hundreds of charitable and faith-based groups, and locally produced funds are all used by CSFP to promote volunteerism.

How Does the CSFP Work ?

A federal food program called the Commodity Supplemental Food Program is intended to help elderly persons' health. The agency Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture provides food for the program. The US Department of Agriculture buys name brand foods of the same quality as CSFP items from local producers. Planning meals with CSFP goods is made easier with the support of nutrition education and practical recipes.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA provides food and administrative funds to participating States and Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) through the CSFP. Instead of serving as a complete meal, CSFP food packages serve as excellent sources of the nutrients that the target population's diets generally lack.

The federal appropriations process provides CSFP with annual funding as a discretionary program. Because of this, the program can only offer services to as many eligible participants as money will support.

In exchange for storing and delivering the food to local agencies for distribution to low-income customers, the CSFP provides States with USDA commodities and administrative monies. A monthly food package with an average retail value of $50 is produced at a cost to the USDA of $27 for the provision of commodities.

How is Commodity Supplemental Food Program Funded ?

The USDA has set the annual funding for the CSFP at $74.53 per participant slot under a mechanism based on caseload allocation. In order to store, deliver, and distribute food packages, it then gives food and administrative funds to the states.

As a discretionary program, the CSFP is limited to serving the number of qualified participants that financing from each state permits. Since only 22 states participate in Feeding America, and several states rely on nonprofit local distribution organisations, these numbers could significantly vary. Every five years, the Farm Bill renews the authorization of federal financing.

Who is Eligible for CSFP ?

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program :
  • You must be 60 or older to participate.
  • Your household's income must be less than 130% of the federal poverty level.
Participants may need to be at nutritional risk, as determined by a doctor or local agency staff, according to state regulations. The residency of a person at the time of program benefit application inside the local agency's service area may also be mandated by states. States, however, are not required to set a temporal limit on how long the person must live there.

CSFP Food Packages

Every months, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program program distributes food packages to local communities. Instead of offering a full meal, CSFP food packages are good suppliers of the nutrients that the target population's diets often lack. These food packages may contain a variety of nutritious foods, including non-fat dry and evaporated milk, juice, farina, oats, ready-to-eat cereal, rice, pasta, peanut butter, dry beans or peas, canned meat or chicken or tuna, canned fruits and vegetables.

Each month's CSFP packages will contain a vary of food types, but they will always contain some of the following :
  • Canned meat : beef, chicken, pork, or tuna
  • Canned fruit : peaches, pears, etc.
  • Canned vegetables : carrots, corn, etc.
  • Bottled fruit juices : orange juice, apple juice, etc.
  • Non-fat powdered milk
  • Cereals  Macaroni, spaghetti, rice, or dehydrated potatoes
  • Peanut butter and other protein sources
  • Cheese

CSFP Food Cost

The average price of a USDA food package is $20 per package. Each package is valued around $50 or so at retail.

Refer, for the most latest USDA participation information by State.

How to Apply for Commodity Supplemental Food Program ?

For further information on submitting an application for the CSFP, an applicant should consult the office or official designated as the point of contact in his or her State. On the website for food distribution, you can find a list of State contacts.

CSFP Contact

Visit the site of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for further details. Additionally, you can email at or call at 1-202-645-6087

Frequently Asked Questions

If I already receive SNAP benefits can I get a CSFP?
Yes, no restrictions prevent you from purchasing both, therefore you can. In fact, the CSFP can assist you in stocking your refrigerator and pantry more effectively when conjunction with other benefit programs like SNAP and the Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Program.

Where is the nearest CSFP distribution location to me?
The CSFP distribution stations are numerous. Here is a list of the locations (Commodity Supplemental Food Program near you).

What should I bring with me in order to sign up for CSFP?
Visit a site that participates in the program with your picture ID and age verification if you are eligible for it. If you don't have a picture ID, you can bring any documentation that contains your name and present address, such as a rental agreement or a piece of mail.
  • Driver's licence, lease agreement, power bill, etc. as evidence of residency
  • Driver's licence, birth certificate, or passport as proof of age (60 years or older).
  • You won't need to present any documentation for evidence of income.

Will I always have Commodity Supplemental Food Program food?
You merely need to pick up your box frequently to keep getting your monthly food delivery. You might be kicked out of the program if you don't pick up your box for three consecutive months. Your CSFP site manager will request that you re-certify for CSFP each year.

Can someone pick up my Commodity Supplemental Food Program box for me?
Yes, you may choose a proxy to pick up your CSFP box on your behalf if you are housebound and unable to do it yourself. The site manager must receive a completed Proxy Form, and your proxy must bring your picture ID to the distribution. The Proxy Form is good for 12 months.

Can I take part in both the CSFP and the TEFAP at once?
Yes, if you are qualified for the CSFP, you are also qualified for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

Who Qualifies for Commodity Supplemental Food Program?
Seniors 60 years of age or older who earn less than or equal to 130% of the federal poverty income guideline are eligible to participate in the CSFP. Visit, to find out more about program eligibility and how to locate a CSFP program in your state.

What are the benefits of CSFP?
The CSFP provides participants with more than simply food and nutrition. Additionally, it aids in the fight against the bad health that is frequently present in seniors who lack access to food. The food provided by the CSFP is intended to replenish the nutrients that participants' diets generally lack. These nutritious diets aid elders in avoiding expensive hospital stays and nursing home stays.

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