Current trade mitigation efforts are resulting in a flood of TEFAP foods across the Feeding America food bank network that have an impact on what we stock and how we are able to distribute food. TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) is a federal program operated by the USDA nationally and the Department of Social Services in Connecticut. The program passes through food and administrative funds to Connecticut Food Bank that partially cover our costs to store and redistribute the food. All TEFAP food is 100% American-grown or raised food.
Our current trade climate has adversely impacted US agriculture. In an effort to mitigate lost earnings, the USDA bought out certain cops for distribution to food banks across the nation. Connecticut Food Bank has received huge volumes of this food. Some of these trade mitigation foods include frozen strawberries and blueberries, frozen pork, frozen chickens, nuts, oranges, apples, grapes, dried lentils, beans, and canned products.
This large volume has put a strain on our system for storage, transportation, and staff capacity to prepare agency orders at higher volumes, conduct regular cycle counts, and distribute the food. Receiving and storing this food has also made it difficult to bring in our typical variety, primarily because we don’t have the space. We are working to balance inventory and provide variety.
Click here for more information on the program from the USDA.
Click here for the USDA’s press release on trade mitigation.