Commodity Supplemental Food Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Agriculture , Food and Nutrition Service
CFDA #: 10.565

Purpose of this program:

To improve the health and nutritional status of low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age of 6, and elderly persons through the donation of supplemental foods.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Administrative grants are made to State agencies, Indian tribes, bands, or intertribal councils, or groups recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. These agencies distribute funds to participating local public or private nonprofit agencies. Federal funding for administrative costs may only be used in making these donated foods and nutrition education available to eligible beneficiaries. Donated foods can only be made available to eligible beneficiaries and cannot be sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of without prior specific approval by the Department.

Who is eligible to apply...

Agreements are made between the Department and the State agency, or an Indian tribe, band, or group recognized by the Department of the Interior for the administration of the program.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Participants are provided donated foods by local agency personnel or its designee. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

The State agency shall require each agency that desires approval as a local agency, to submit an application that contains sufficient information to enable the State agency to make a determination of eligibility for that agency. Individual participants may apply for program benefits at an approved local agency.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Funds are awarded by the Department to State agencies in accordance with the priorities and funding formulas set forth in program regulations and legislation; State agencies, in turn, distribute administrative funds to the local level.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


A State plan for the next fiscal year is required by August 15.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

A determination will be made within 30 days of submission of a completed plan.

Preapplication Coordination

Application is made through submission of a State Plan of Program Operation and Administration as required by the Federal agency. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Local agency appeals: The State agency provides a hearing appeal procedure for a local agency adversely affected by a State agency or local agency action. The right to appeal is granted whenever an action would adversely affect participation. Individual participant appeals: The State agency provides a hearing appeal procedure for any individual who receives a State or local agency action that results in denial of benefits under the program.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

To be certified as eligible to receive supplemental foods, each applicant must be: (a) categorically eligible as an infant, child up to age 6, pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding woman, or elderly person 60 years of age or older, residing in an area where the program operates; (b) for women, infants, and children, income eligible under existing Federal, State, or local food, health, or welfare programs for low-income persons; for elderly with income at or below 130 percent of Federal poverty income guidelines; and (c) at State agency discretion, at nutritional risk as determined by a competent health professional at the local agency.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Formula Grants

Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.

Sale, Exchange, or Donation of Property and Goods

Programs which provide for the sale, exchange, or donation of Federal real property, personal property, commodities, and other goods including land, buildings, equipment, food and drugs. This does not include the loan of, use of, or access to Federal facilities or property.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$10,631 to $4,629,473 per State in appropriated administrative funds for fiscal year 2001.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Food donations) FY 02 $67,635,555; FY 03 est $81,013,849; and FY 04 est $75,993,000 (includes free substitute commodities; which includes bonus commodities made available). (Grants for administration) FY 02 $22,931,278; FY 03 est $23,075,212; and FY 04 est $18,998,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Fiscal year 2001, average monthly participation was 83,664 women, infants, and children, and 323,418 senior persons. The state of Washington was added to the program in FY 2001.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Commodities are made available on an ongoing basis. Cash assistance is released quarterly each fiscal year by the electronic transfer system to the Department of the Treasury. State agencies may withdraw funds only as needed.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Commodities: Public Law 93-86, as amended requires USDA to reimburse State and local agencies for administrative expenses equal to but not to exceed 20 percent of the annual program appropriation. Public Law 93-86, as amended, makes available up to 20 percent of CSFP food funds carried over from the previous fiscal year to State and local agencies for administrative expenses. There are no Federal matching requirements.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Financial, Program, Inventory, and Civil Rights Reports shall be submitted as required by FNS at a frequency prescribed by FNS.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


In accordance with the provision of OMB Circular No. A- 133, "Audits of State and Local Governments, and Non-profit Organizations," State and local governments, and non-profit organization that expend Federal financial assistance of $300,000 or more within any fiscal year shall have either a single or (in certain cases) a program specific audit made for that year. Audits may be conducted less frequently under conditions specified in A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Each State agency shall maintain accurate and complete records of all receipts and dispositions as detailed in 7 CFR 247.13(a). Records must be retained for 3 years following the close of the fiscal year or until any outstanding audit, claim or litigation is settled.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, Section 4(a) and 5, as amended, Public Law 93-86, 7 U.S.C. 612c (note); Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, as amended, Public Law 95-113, 91 Stat. 980; Public Law 97-98, 95 Stat. 1293; Public Law 98-8, 97 Stat. 35; Public Law 98-92, 97 Stat. 611; Public Law 99-198, 99 Stat. 1590; Public Law 101-624, 104 Stat. 3806; Public Law 104-127, 110 Stat. 888.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

7 CFR 247 and "CSFP State Plan Guidance," are available without charge from the Department.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

See Food and Nutrition Service regional offices listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Food Distribution Division, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA 22302. Contact: Les Johnson, Director. Telephone: (703) 305-2680.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: