Over the last year, we've seen more people than ever before turning to the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank for nutritious food like fresh vegetables, milk, meat, and other staples. Food banks have been doing everything they can to meet the increase in demand.
Thankfully, there's a federal program that can help.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal nutrition program that moves food from farms to food banks to families facing hunger. But to help food banks meet the current increase in demand for food, Congress must provide additional funding for TEFAP food purchases, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must quickly make the purchases.
TEFAP is a critical part of how food banks help our neighbors. Through the program, USDA purchases healthy foods – fruits, vegetables, and other essentials – from U.S. farmers and producers. States work with food banks and local partners to connect families and individuals with the food.
Last year, the Feeding America network of food banks and pantries received 1.5 billion meals through TEFAP – that's almost 40% of the food it distributed in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis.
As the ongoing effects of the pandemic keep demand for food assistance at a record high, food banks need more support to provide meals for growing kids, dinners for seniors, and full tables for parents and families.
The solution is right in front of us. It's a win-win for U.S. farmers, producers, and families in need.
Thank you for your commitment to helping our neighbors in need.