Hunger persists in rural America.

Individuals throughout the United States experience hunger, but rural communities disproportionately experience food insecurity. People in rural areas typically face hunger due to less access to food, higher rates of chronic disease, and limited healthcare infrastructure. This combination of factors explains why rural counties make up 63% of all U.S. counties, but 89% of counties with the highest rates of food insecurity.


In 2020, 96 percent of rural counties received TEFAP food items distributed by a food bank within the Feeding America network.

TEFAP is delivering for our rural neighbors in need.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal nutrition program that helps charities like Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the U.S., deliver nutritious foods from farmers to food banks to communities every day. USDA data shows that 1 in 3 people who live in households at risk of hunger earn too much money to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other federal nutrition programs. Many of these people turn to food banks for support. Programs like TEFAP are vital for food banks to help these families.

Last year, our food bank network distributed 1.2 billion pounds to rural America. Of all the food that was distributed, USDA commodities like TEFAP provided 465 million pounds of food to rural communities.

Charities can’t end hunger in rural communities alone. We need Congress’ help.

TEFAP delivers in every community across the nation, particularly in rural communities. That’s why every member of Congress should support strong additional investments in TEFAP food purchases to help ensure food banks can meet the need in their communities. Increased TEFAP funding will help allow struggling families to succeed and thrive.

Find out how much TEFAP food Feeding America is delivering in your rural community.