New Information Regarding USDA/TEFAP Food Distribution
Updated February 14, 2013
Mountaineer Food Bank provided 8.4 million pounds of food in 2012 to feeding programs in West Virginia. Feeding program include pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, day care centers, after school programs, Back Pack programs, and senior centers.
If your organization is interested in becoming a partner feeding program, check our the criteria below and contact Rodney at (304) 364-5518 or email at email@example.com.
Criteria for Food Bank Membership
The following are criteria relates to membership for the Mountaineer Food Bank. All of the points below must be met in order to qualify:
There is a shared maintenance fee of $.19 per pound which is paid by each member agency when they receive food from Mountaineer Food Bank.
Pantries are required to prepare written guidelines for its staff and volunteers to ensure consistent determination of eligibility for services.
To come up with your own written guidelines, think about your pantry's priorities. You may want to consider the following:
- Proof of client's residence e.g. publicly issued ID cards or utility bill, if you have a chosen service area
- Income (some pantries use USDA income guidelines)
- Employment status: employed, unemployed or under-employed
- Number of people in family or household (consider whether you will require birth certificates for children)
- Recent separation from source of income (consider whether you will require proof)
- Recent or chronic medical costs (consider whether you will require proof)
- Receiving or awaiting food stamps, TANF, Medicaid, or SSI (consider whether you will require proof if your clients have not yet received assistance, whether payments were lost, or whether a client is having trouble being re-certified)
- Number of times and how often a family can be served (consider whether the family has transportation, and if not, will you deliver?)
- Chronic need (consider whether you will refer clients who are applying for TANF and food stamps to another agency if their needs exceed what you can provide)
One pantry's guidelines will more than likely differ from others according to priorities and goals. For example, one pantry may prefer to serve Food Stamps and TANF families because they qualify for those programs and are low-income families. Another pantry may prefer to serve people who do not qualify for Food Stamps or TANF but are low-income families and in need.
Your guidelines are your own. When you decide on a set of guidelines, type them up and make them readily available should anyone be concerned about the fairness of distribution. Some pantries post their guidelines on the wall at their distribution site.
The MFB is concerned that food goes to needy people and that all people are screened alike.
Guidelines for distributing USDA food commodities:
- USDA food is for distribution to individuals and families as emergency food.
- USDA food is not to be prepared or served by that agency.
- USDA food must be stored in a dry storage area off the floor in an area free of rodents and insects. Perishable foods must be handled and stored according to safe food handling practices. The storage area must be secured and foods separated from your other pantry items.
- USDA food cases may be split up but cans and bags cannot be opened and divided. It must be distributed in the cans and bags it comes in.
- Each person per family who receives USDA food must fill out a Self-Declaration of Income Form. Record what was given out and have the recipient sign and date the bottom of the form.
- USDA food is free and no fee of any kind can be exchanged for or collected from those who receive it.
- Quarterly Reports must be sent in each quarter, stating the number of households served and current inventory on hand.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.