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The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
Distributing a portion of the nation's agricultural abundance to low-income people and households.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) supplements the diets of low-income Americans by providing emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. Through TEFAP, TDA Food Bank contractors distribute USDA-donated food to emergency feeding organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens and housing authorities. These organizations supply the commodities to participants through prepared meals that are served on-site and food packages that may be consumed at home.

Houston-Area Church Accesses Food Bank and TEFAP Resources to Reach Out with a Helping Hand

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By Angela Olige

Chief Administrator

Food and Nutrition

On March 16, I observed a spectacular outpouring of community support from Spirit and Truth World Outreach Church in conjunction with Jesse Tree, a faith-based non-profit from the Galveston area. Spirit and Truth World Outreach Church is a non-denominational church in Webster. Each month, the church hosts Project Reach Out, a wellness effort that includes food and clothing distribution for people in need, along with health education. I happened to be in the area during spring break and I wanted to see what this event was all about. It reminded me that, even on spring break, hunger does not take a break.

Project Reach Out took place in the church’s parking lot that day. While the location may have been an ordinary suburban parking lot, the volunteer effort on display was truly extraordinary. More than 15 volunteers helped load lined-up cars belonging to the 250-plus families who registered for the food distribution. Pastor Edwin Bamberg told those gathered about the church’s desire to provide a helping hand, not just a handout. There also were stories of people who, thanks to the availability of this food, were able to buy their prescription medicine instead of having to choose between fighting a medical condition and fighting hunger.

The nutritious food included fruit, onions, whole grain bread and other items provided by private donations and the Galveston County Food Bank. The food boxes also included frozen chicken from The Emergency Food Assistance Program, which is administered in Texas by the Texas Department of Agriculture and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Faith-based organizations like Spirit and Truth World Outreach Church and Jesse Tree are making a difference for families all across Texas by connecting them with the resources they need to build a bridge to success. A variety of other organizations also are fulfilling this admirable mission throughout our great state. I encourage you to get involved in these efforts with the organization of your choice to help people in need access good nutrition.

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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

 (1) mail: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
 
 (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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