The USDA Commodity Foods Program provides a variety of nutritious, free foods that enable low-income families to stretch their grocery dollars. UETHDA distributes the USDA foods in nine different locations throughout the eight-county service area. Volunteers and local agencies donate their time and efforts to help make the USDA food available to their neighbors. University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension agents provide important information on how to use commodities. Funding is provided by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), also known as Commodities, is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. Food boxes are distributed by volunteers and Neighborhood Service Center staff members.
CACFP is a federally funded program that provides reimbursement for eligible meals that are served to participants who meet age and income requirements. Administrative payments are also provided for those agencies that sponsor the participation of day care homes. All payments are based on annual rates established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). CACFP provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.
Research shows that well-nourished children are healthier, more attentive, and have better mental performance than children who are under-nourished. Findings also indicate that children served by CACFP eat healthier than children who bring food from home. The CACFP helps facilities implement “best practices” to ensure children have access to a variety of nutritious foods.
Find out more by contacting the Head Start office.