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Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Current Issues

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank engages in advocacy at the local, state, and federal level to help protect vital nutrition programs. Read below for information on these programs and what we're advocating for this year.

Federal Nutrition Priorities

Although half of the food distributed by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is acquired through food and monetary donations, the simple reality is that the Food Bank could not serve as many people without critical federal nutrition programs.  The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allow the food bank to stretch our dollars and provide free, nutritious food to our partner programs. 

In 2019 we will work to protect and strengthen federal programs that impact those struggling with food insecurity in our community.  Food banks across the country, including the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, rely on TEFAP and CSFP to put nutritious food on the tables of our neighbors.  These two programs make up 17% of the food distributed by the Food Bank, totaling nearly 8 million pounds of food in FY2018. Additionally, we will work to advocate for the reauthorization of Child Nutriton programs including SFSP and CACFP.

What is TEFAP?

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that provides nutritious food to low-income families in need of emergency food assistance while delivering vital support to America’s farm communities and food producers through annual purchases of commodities.  Some of the foods provided through TEFAP in 2019 include fresh oranges and apples, milk, potatoes, rice, juice, beans, oats, and more.  For more information on this program, click here.

What is CSFP?

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a federal program that supplements the diets of low-income seniors with monthly boxes of nutritious food.  These boxes total about thirty pounds of food, including items like juice, oats, peanut butter, and canned fruits and vegetables.  For information on how the GCFB participates in this program, click here.

What is Children's Nutrition Reauthorization?

The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act (CNR) authorizes all federal school meal and child nutrition programs.  It is reauthorized every five years and expired on September 30, 2015 as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  Although it expired, programs funded by CNR are permanently authorized and continue to operate. We're working this year to advocate for the reauthorization and increases in funding for these programs, which include the following:

  • National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program (NSLP and SBP): This program provides free or reduced-price school lunch to children from income-qualifying families.
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, & Children (WIC): Similar to SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), program participants, which include pregnant mothers and women with children up to age five, receive benefits on an electronic benefits card. The program funds the purchase of specific foods like infant  cereal, formula, juice, eggs, milk, protein items, baby foods, & breads.
  • Child and Adults Care Food Program (CACFP aka “Kids Café Program”): This program provides meals and snacks to children in schools, day cares, afterschool programs, and more. The programs must be located in an area where at least 50% of children are eleigible for NSLP or SBP. Last year, Food Bank Kids Cafe partner provided more than 628,000 meals.
  • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP aka “Summer Feeding Program”): This program provides meals to children in camps, schools, and community centers during the summer months when school is not in session. Last year, Food Bank Summer Feeding partners provided more than 213,000 meals.

To stay up-to-date, please join our Advocacy Network.