USDA Foods from Farm to Plate Household Highlights, December 2020

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Household Highlights, December 2020

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News & Notes

New Products for TEFAP in 2021

TEFAP programs have been getting a wide variety of foods through special purchase programs operated by USDA, including the Section 32 program and the Food Purchase and Distribution Program.  As a result, food banks have been able to distribute some of these foods to clients and get feedback.  Based on high demand, USDA is adding six new items to the TEFAP Foods Available List for 2021.  The new items available include frozen blueberries, frozen peaches, fresh sweet potatoes, green split peas, frozen pork chops and shredded cheddar cheese.  States and local sites that receive USDA Foods can get additional information about product packaging and pricing and begin placing orders for these foods in the WBSCM catalog.  If you have feedback about any USDA Foods products, or if there are other items you would like to see added to the regular TEFAP offerings, please email us at

Program Spotlight

FY2020 Bonus Highlights

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. TEFAP, a federal nutrition assistance program administered by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, operates locally through food banks and their community emergency feeding partners.

State agencies and food banks can choose from offerings on the Foods Available List, to spend their entitlement dollars each fiscal year. In addition, depending on market availability, TEFAP agencies receive foods through the Section 32 program, commonly referred to as “bonus”. In FY2020, Section 32 purchases provided additional support for producers and Americans in need, in response to changing market conditions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency.

During FY2020, 79 different items were offered to The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) through the Section 32 “bonus” program. In total, USDA spent over $699 million and purchased 763 million pounds of bonus food. Food banks received many different types of bonus food in all food group categories this year, including a wide variety of fruits and vegetables; meat, poultry, and seafood items; nuts; legumes; milk, cheese and butter.

List of Section 32 bonus foods

Featured Food

Yellow potato and shrimp saute


USDA purchased shrimp through Section 32 for the first time! That’s right, USDA supported the shrimp industry by purchasing shrimp that would have typically been sold to restaurants and cruise lines through Section 32 due to the impact of COVID-19. Shrimp is a protein powerhouse and packs an abundance of nutrients including vitamin B12, iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium, just to name a few. Not only is shrimp low in calories, it is so adaptable that it can be used in almost any dish. You can add shrimp to a salad with a splash of lime juice, or use it in a soup in place of another protein such as chicken or turkey. Skewer shrimp with fresh vegetables or serve it over brown rice. Shrimp can also be cooked in many ways. It can be baked, broiled, steamed, or even sautéed. Shrimp is so versatile the possibilities are endless! Eating shrimp is also a great way to add more seafood to your diet, which helps to increase your omega-3 fatty acids which are important for heart health. Interested in adding shrimp to your next meal? Try this delicious recipe: Yellow Potato and Red Pepper Shrimp Sauté.

Resource Roundup

CDC Guidance for Food Pantries and Distribution Sites

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published COVID-19 guidelines for food pantries and food distribution sites intended to ensure safe access to food for recipients and a safe working environment for staff and volunteers.  The guidance is meant to be an additional resource for these organizations and does not replace any federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local laws, rules, and regulations that apply to the organizations.  TEFAP eligible recipient agencies and CSFP local agencies may find the guidance helpful in continuing to distribute USDA Foods during the pandemic.

Feeding America Logo

Feeding America Provides Data on the Impact of Coronavirus

Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, provided an October 2020 data brief on the projected impact of the pandemic on food insecurity in 2020.  The report highlights areas with the highest 2020 food insecurity projections due to COVID-19 and specifically highlights the projected food insecurity rates among children. 

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FRAC on Helping Older Adults Access Food during the Pandemic

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is a national nonprofit organization working to end domestic hunger and undernutrition.  In May 2020 they released a report Helping Older Adults Struggling Against Hunger Access Food in the Age of COVID-19. This resource explores four available actions to help older adults access food while minimizing exposure to COVID-19.   

Policy Corner

TEFAP and CSFP Funding Update

On October 1, 2020, President Trump signed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159), which provides The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) with Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 funding through December 11, 2020.  Under the terms of the continuing resolution, FNS released $15.7 million in administrative funding to TEFAP State agencies and $11.7 million to CSFP State agencies in early October. FNS will announce full year funding levels for CSFP and TEFAP once Congress passes a full year funding bill for FY 2021.

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FY 2021 Farm to Food Bank Project Funding Awarded

On December 10, 2020, FNS awarded $3.764 million to 24 TEFAP State agencies to carry out FY 2021 TEFAP Farm to Food Bank Projects.  Such projects have three distinct purposes: to reduce food waste at the agricultural production, processing, or distribution level through the donation of food, to provide food to individuals in need, and to build relationships between agricultural producers, processors, and distributors and EFOs through the donation of food. This is the second year of Farm to Food Bank Project funding awarded since the funding source was established by the 2018 Farm Bill.  You can view a summary of the first year of Farm to Food Bank Projects here.

Technology Synopsis

Finding WBSCM Resources

Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) is under continuous improvement through monthly development activities, and help resources are regularly updated to reflect the latest system changes and recommended processes. Available resource types include: work instructions, job aids, simulations, course materials, and release notes.

To access the document library from WBSCM, navigate to Help Training; then drill down through the categories, user groups, and functional areas or topics.

Other methods for finding WBSCM resources include:

  1. Use on-screen help while performing a transaction. To find related resources without leaving the current transaction, expand the Options menu and select Help. This will automatically open the related document or a list of relevant documents in a new window. These resources can be referenced without interrupting work in the current transaction.
On-screen help

On-screen help

2. Search for documents by keyword. Within the document library, enter one or more keywords in        the search bar at the top of the screen, then click the Advanced Search magnifying glass. All                documents that contain the keyword(s) in the title or content will be listed in the results.

document library search

WBSCM Document Library search bar

3. Access links from the announcements banner. On the Training page, the announcements window      summarizes recent changes to WBSCM resources and provides links to recently updated training        documents as well as role-based resources for different types of transactions.

Training announcements

Training Homepage announcements example

For additional assistance, contact the WBSCM Service Desk 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.

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