The federal government helps food banks by providing USDA commodity food, and financial assistance to store and distribute that food, through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The financial assistance helps pay for warehouse and transportation costs like gas, utilities, staff, drivers, and equipment like forklifts and refrigerated trucks.
As food banks pursue their commitments to distributing more and more fresh foods—like produce, dairy, and meat products—these storage and distribution costs have increased dramatically. But TEFAP funding has stayed flat since 2008, not even keeping up with inflation.
Senator Merkley can play a key role in increasing TEFAP storage and distribution funds right now as Congress finishes next year’s federal budget. Send an email or call his office today to ask him to overcome this funding shortfall in order to help food banks across the country better assist people experiencing hunger.
Senator Merkley’s DC Office Phone: 202-224-3753 or you can email him through his website address: https://www.merkley.senate.gov/contact/
If you have questions about this action alert please contact FFLC’s Community Engagement and Advocacy Coordinator, Kara Smith.