USDA Foods from Farm to Plate: Household Highlights, October 2019

View as a webpage

U.S. Department of AgricultureUSDA Foods from Farm to Plateorange dots

Household Highlights, October 2019

orange dots

News & Notes

The CSFP Enhanced Food Package is Coming Soon!

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) food package will be enhanced with new items, additional flexibilities, and increased quantities in some food package categories.  Please note: Due to a temporary limitation of the availability of some USDA Foods, the implementation date for the enhanced CSFP Food Package is being delayed until February 1, 2020.  However, programs may incorporate new food options and package sizes under the existing Maximum Monthly Distribution Rate per guidance in Attachment C of the October 25, 2019 memo.  This delay will allow programs additional time to prepare for full implementation, while still permitting new foods and package sizes to be incorporated into the package to provide additional variety and flexibility. 

The food package enhancements have been made in collaboration with CSFP community and program operators.  Resources to assist stakeholders in this transition can be found on our website in the CSFP Food Package Toolkit.  In the enhanced monthly food package, some changes you will see include:

  • Double the amount of vegetables;
  • More protein, including plant-based proteins such as canned and dry beans;
  • More options within each food category, such as brown rice and soup;
  • Smaller package sizes of rice, oatmeal, grits, dry beans, and non-fat dried milk that are more appropriate for small households and that allow clients to receive a greater variety of options in their food package each month.

The new food items that will be added to the food package include:

  • Canned black beans
  • Canned kidney beans
  • Canned pinto beans
  • Dry lentils
  • Dehydrated potato flakes
  • Raisins
  • Brown rice
  • Vegetable soup

There is still time to learn about all of the changes that are coming to the CSFP Food Package! Check out the recordings of our CSFP Food Package webinars and subscribe to our CSFP Food Package Special Edition e-letter to get the latest information on the upcoming changes. You can also read previous editions of the CSFP Food Package Special Edition e-letter to learn more about the nutritional benefits of the food package enhancements.

CSFP Food Package

Featured Food

roasted garbanzos

Canned Garbanzo Beans

Canned Garbanzo Beans are going to be available soon in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)!  Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are being offered in a 15.5 oz. can. 

Garbanzo beans, a type of legume, are an excellent source of plant protein, fiber, and also provide a variety of other nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C.  These important nutrients can support heart health, digestive health, immune function, and ensure adequate energy for the body.

The nutty taste and grainy texture of garbanzo beans makes them appealing in a variety of dishes.  Garbanzo beans can be mashed to make your own hummus or simply roasted for a healthy, on-the-go, snack!

Resource Roundup

orange check

Foods Available Lists Recently Updated!

The Foods Available List for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) were just updated to reflect recent changes including new foods and updated package sizes.  Check out the recent updates below:

CSFP Foods Available List

The Foods Available List reflects the enhanced CSFP Food Package.  New food items include canned beans, dry lentils, dehydrated potato flakes, raisins, brown rice, and vegetable soup.  Package sizes have been reduced for dry beans, grits, oats, peanut butter, and rice to be more appropriate for household use.

TEFAP Foods Available List

New food items include canned garbanzo beans and chicken packaged in a pouch.  Package sizes have been reduced for frozen carrots, peanut butter, grits, and oats to be more appropriate for household use.  Case sizes have changed for macaroni and cheese, UHT milk, and wheat bran flakes.

Program Spotlight

Best Practices: CSFP Food Package

With the introduction of the enhanced Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) Food Package, USDA has received many questions about the weight of the food in the package.  While there will not be a significant change in the weight of the food package, we understand that programs are concerned about seniors’ ability to carry the food that is provided. 

What strategies can your program consider to help with this problem?  USDA recently raised this question with a group of CSFP program stakeholders.  We are happy to share some of the ways programs are handling this operational challenge:

  • Pack CSFP food packages in 2 bags, rather than 1 large box.  Programs noted that this small change makes the food easier for seniors to handle since they can carry the bags one at a time. 
  • Arrange for delivery of CSFP food packages to senior residences.  While it may not be feasible for all programs to offer home-delivery, there may be senior housing facilities that could be used as a distribution location to make it easier for residents to pick up and transport their food.
  • Arrange for volunteers to assist seniors with loading food into their cars.  Some programs arrange a group of local students to help, while others have dedicated volunteers or staff available to offer assistance to program participants during distribution.
  • Provide participants with a rolling cart that can be used to transport their food packages.  One program noted that they received a donation to purchase rolling carts that program participants bring monthly to help them transport their CSFP Food Package. 

Do you have other ideas for how to help seniors transport their CSFP foods to their homes?  Want to share? Email us at


Policy Corner


TEFAP Implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill

On October 4, FNS published the Final Rule with Request for Comments: The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2018.  Comments were accepted on this rule through November 4th.  This rule implements several TEFAP provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, including a requirement that TEFAP State Plans, at the option of the State agency, describe a plan of operation for projects to harvest, process, package, or transport donated commodities for use by TEFAP emergency feeding organizations (EFOs), also known as Farm to Food Bank Projects.  

The rule also codifies the requirement that TEFAP State agencies amend their State Plans to describe a plan that provides EFOs or eligible recipient agencies within the State an opportunity to provide input on their commodity preferences and needs.  FNS issued a memorandum on this provision earlier this year which required TEFAP State Agencies to submit these state plans amendments to their Regional Offices by May 31, 2019.  That memo is available on the FNS website here.

To read the Final Rule visit the Federal Register Notice.

trash can icon

The 2018 Farm Bill and Food Waste in TEFAP

On August 15, FNS released a memorandum entitled, Best Practices to Minimize Food Waste of Privately Donated Foods to The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) State Agencies and Emergency Feeding Organizations.  This memorandum provides guidance to TEFAP State agencies on best practices to minimize food waste of privately donated foods provided to TEFAP State agencies and eligible recipient agencies (ERAs).  By using methods such as the first-in-first-out (FIFO) system of inventory management, distinguishing between the various forms of product date labeling, and accounting for foods with special handling requirements, TEFAP State agencies and ERAs can assist with USDA’s goal of reducing our nation’s food waste.  For information on USDA food waste activities, visit:

Technology Synopsis

Clipboard Access for WBSCM 

As a result of the Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) system upgrade in September, WBSCM will not automatically have access to the clipboard when users are copying or pasting information into some fields.  Depending on the browser settings, users may be prompted to manually grant permission to the clipboard.

clipboard message

Users have two options:

  1. Adjust Internet Options settings for the IE browser to grant permission to the clipboard.  Go to Security > Custom Level.  Scroll down to the Scripting settings, and enable Allow Programmatic clipboard access (Changing this setting may require an administrator role and/or assistance from local technology support).
  2. Manually grant permission whenever prompted.

Please direct questions to the WBSCM Service Desk at or call 877-WBSCM-4U (877-927-2648).

New Receipting View for WBSCM

WBSCM is phasing in a streamlined process called electronic invoicing (eINV) for creating and reconciling advanced shipment notifications (ASN), goods receipts, and invoices for materials shipped directly from a commodity vendor.  Customers will begin to see the new eINV receipting screen for new purchase orders issued after August 2019; pre-existing orders will be receipted using the previous method.  There are no changes to the existing process for uploading receipts or receipting multifood deliveries from the National Warehouses.

eINV screen

The key changes with eINV include:

  1. There are two new fields: Further Actions and Receipt Status.
  2. The fields for entering good, damaged, and rejected quantities appear in a different order. Additionally, the good quantity field may be pre-populated from the ASN.  Check the column header to ensure that good quantity is entered in the correct position.
  3. To fix typos or update information for recently entered receipts, an option is available to Modify Receipt.  In most cases, it is no longer necessary to open a WBSCM incident.

Although the steps for receipting are essentially the same, separate versions of the work instructions are available for the DOMESTIC_VIEW and the new EINV_VIEW with corresponding screenshots, notes, and additional steps for modifying receipts (eINV only).

To report system issues or request assistance with receipting, please contact the WBSCM Helpdesk at 877-927-2648, or by email to

Refresher: WBSCM Entitlement Reports

The WBSCM entitlement reports were updated to support Trade Mitigation in the December 2018 release.  This includes the following search criteria and the report fields:

  • Program codes are identified by “TM_” and the first two letters of the respective program.  For example, the program code for Trade Mitigation for TEFAP is “TM_TE”.
  • Report search criteria include an option for “Trade” in the Entitlement/Bonus field.
  • On the Entitlement/Bonus Summary Report, “Trade Pounds” and “Trade Order Total” reflect the weight and value of materials ordered through the Trade Mitigation program.  Note: These items do not impact entitlement.
  • On the Entitlement/Bonus Detail Report, the “Ent. / Bonus (E/B)” column will display “E” for Entitlement, “B” for Bonus, or “T” for Trade Mitigation.

Refer to the respective job aids for each report for full details.

As a reminder, WBSCM training materials are frequently updated as changes are implemented in WBSCM.  Users can access the most up-to-date resources in the WBSCM training library via one of these methods:

  1. Navigate to Help -> Training -> and then drill down through the different types of training materials.
  2. While in a transaction (e.g. report search criteria screen), click on the Options button on the right-side of the screen and select Help from the drop-down menu.

For additional assistance, contact the WBSCM Service Desk at or call 877-927-2648.

How to Stay in the Know with USDA Foods

1. Click here to review or modify your subscription preferences. 

2. Enter your email address and click "Submit."

3. Check the boxes to select your topic(s) of interest. For these e-letters, scroll down to the Food Distribution category and click the plus sign to the left of the check box to expand the list and view all the topics. Select any of these topics to receive the general e-letter plus the corresponding program-specific e-letter(s) of your choice:

*USDA Foods --> receive all "USDA Foods from Farm to Plate" e-letters

*Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) --> receive "Household Highlights"

*The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) --> receive "Household Highlights"

*Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) --> receive "FDPIR Connection"

*USDA Foods in Schools --> receive "Spotlight on Schools"

To receive webinar announcements, scroll down to the Webinars category and select your program(s) of interest.

4. Visit the subscriber preferences page any time you would like to review, add, or delete subscriptions. Questions? Contact

5. Share the e-letter and new subscriber link with interested colleagues and friends!

Learn more at and

or contact us at

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.