PA Dept. of Ag. Announces $1.6 M for Emergency Food Assistance Grants

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today invited qualified food banks, pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens that offer emergency food assistance to apply for $1.6 million in The Emergency Food Assistance (TEFAP) Reach and Resiliency Grants.

The grants aim to expand access to emergency food assistance in isolated or underserved rural or low-income communities.

“These grants come at a critical time, as Pennsylvania loses approximately $2 billion a year in federal emergency food assistance on top of other pandemic-related supports for struggling neighbors,” said LAMPa Director Tracey DePasquale.

 “No one should go hungry in a state with the wealth and bounty we have in Pennsylvania,” Redding said. “But far too often families do not know where their next meal is coming from and they need our help. Expanding the capacity of local agencies to supply fresh, healthy food to families in need is just one part of a much broader Shapiro Administration strategy to work toward a healthier, more secure Pennsylvania.”

Grants are available to organizations distributing TEFAP through contracts with the state, county, or a county-designated Lead Agency. Nonprofits that provide food assistance and are interested in becoming TEFAP distribution agencies can contact their county Lead Agency to learn more.

Funded projects may include expanded cold storage, warehouse space and equipment, delivery vehicles for food distribution, and materials to publicize the availability of TEFAP foods.

Full grant guidelines are published in the April 1 edition of the PA Bulletin.

Apply online through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Single Electronic Application. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Friday, May 26, 2023.

According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap, in 2022, more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians, or 8.9% of everyone in the state, and 13% of our children, may not know the source of their next meal. Tackling food insecurity through partnerships among state and federal agencies, and Pennsylvania’s charitable food system is a top priority of the Shapiro Administration, Redding said.

Shapiro Administration Anti-Hunger Proposals:

  • New state investment in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), raising the minimum monthly benefit by 50 percent to help families, and the state’s food banks, pantries and soup kitchens stressed by recently discontinued federal emergency benefits,
  • $2 million investment in the Fresh Food Financing Initiative that will improve access to PA-grown, processed, and produced foods, including fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy products, and meat products in communities of color and other underserved areas,
  • $4.5 million invested in the department’s Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS) which reimburses Pennsylvania producers for the cost of harvesting, processing, packaging and transporting donations of surplus foods, reducing food waste and getting safe, wholesome foods to families in need,
  • $20 million to fund the State Food Purchase Program, the largest program of its kind in the nation, providing state funds toward emergency food assistance for low income Pennsylvanians,
  • Free school breakfast for every child in Pennsylvania public schools,
  • And a comprehensive array of initiatives and programs to reduce hunger in Pennsylvania and unite communities in addressing our greatest challenges.

Find foodbanks, pantries and other resources in your area, plus information on food insecurity and what you can do to help or find help at

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