The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAPOpens in new window) is a federal program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program helps supplement the diets of low-income individuals by providing staple food items at no cost to the recipient.  Through TEFAP, the USDA purchases a variety of food items which are made available to the State Distributing Agencies. 

Each State receives food based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people who fall below the poverty line.  States provide food to selected local agencies, such as the San Joaquin County Food For You Program, for distribution to local organizations which directly serve the public. 

These local organizations distribute USDA foods to eligible recipients for household consumption or for use in meals served in a congregate setting.  In San Joaquin County, TEFAP is currently distributed by the County’s community centers, multiple volunteer sites and congregate feeding agencies on a monthly basis. 

Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP)

Food For You receives funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through the Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSPOpens in new window). The Emergency Food and Shelter Program began in 1983 and was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States for the provision of food and shelter. The program is governed by a National Board composed of representatives of the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; The Jewish Federations of North America; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide.  

Food For You uses the EFSP award to supplement emergency food distribution by procuring shelf stable, staple food items, locally sourced and issued to County Community Centers for distribution to residents as emergency food.

The CalFood Program

The CalFood Program is funding made available by the California State Legislature, administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). This funding allows participating TEFAP food banks to purchase and distribute California grown or produced food items, free of charge to low-income residents. Food For You uses these funds to purchase seasonal fresh produce and meat products, which are distributed to the community by the County Community Centers.

Emergency Food for Families Fund (Tax Check-off)

California State law allows taxpayers to make a voluntary, tax-deductible contribution to charitable causes through the State’s income tax form. Each year, taxpayers check-off the donate box on their tax form and designate the charitable cause they would like to donate to. The Emergency Food for Families Fund (Tax CheckoffOpens in new window) was established in 1998 to support California food banks. Food For You uses these funds to procure supplemental foods for distribution by the County community centers to low-income youth and seniors.

State Disaster Food Assistance Program (SDFAP)

The State Disaster Food Assistance Program (SDFAP), administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), allows the state to quickly respond to food needs of California in response to an emergency or disaster situation. The program supplements the existing supply of TEFAP and other foods for TEFAP providers.  In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, CDSS activated SDFAP in April 2020. CDSS has contracted with the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) to provide Meal Relief Kits to food banks throughout the State.  The Meal Relief Kits consist of 18 pounds of shelf-stable food items, such as canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, sauces, peanut butter, dry milk and dry beans.  This resource has allowed Food For You to broaden our impact and support food distributions offered by Oasis City Center (formerly Lord’s Gym) and Catholic Charities in Stockton, several City of Stockton Community Centers, Manteca Senior Center, Lodi Salvation Army and several other entities that serve vulnerable populations in need.

Donated Food

Food For You receives donated food from various sources and has a long standing relationship with UNFI, a nationwide grocery distribution chain.  Donated food items are provided to the County community centers and other partner agencies to augment our primary food distributions.