Last year, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan aimed to invest in low-income seniors who were especially hit hard by the pandemic. This effort expanded federal nutrition assistance for this population to help combat food insecurity through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Here’s how seniors can qualify for free monthly food packages with this program:
What is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program?
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a federal food assistance program that serves low-income adults 60 years and older. The program aims to improve the health of eligible recipients by supplementing any nutrient deficiencies with monthly food packages containing fruit, juice, vegetables, milk, cheese, grains, and protein. Here is a list of foods that could be included.
What are the requirements to receive this benefit?
Please note that not all states participate in this program. Aside from being over 60 years old and living in a participating state, there are additional requirements to be eligible for CSFP. An eligible participant must be deemed at “nutritional risk” by a physician or local agency. In addition, the eligible participant must be at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.
More information, including guidelines for Alaska and Hawaii, can be found here.
How do I apply?
Unfortunately, there is no easy website to apply for this program. You will need to contact your local office by calling or emailing. To find the contact information for your state, call 1-866-348-6479 (press 3 for Spanish). They will be able to assist you.
You can also visit the USDA contact map and click on your state and then on “Commodity Supplemental Food Program” to find more information, including your state agency’s website, physical address, and email address.
A few examples of participating states include:
Gloria Garcia-Hernandez, Program Manager
Lori Coopwood, CSFP Program Manager
Devin Wilcox-McCombs, Social Services Program Specialist III
Shawna Sabo, Social Services Program Specialist I
Danielle Quigley, CACFP Director
Lena Wilson, Assistant Commissioner