Federations advance USDA Kosher food options for families in need

Jewish Federations of North America welcome The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new webpage listing Kosher foods in TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program), a federal program that provides surplus food to food banks and pantries.


The updated web listings will help educate nutrition providers about kosher foods, helping make them more accessible and available to Jewish communities.


Over the course of the last year, Jewish Federations have advocated together with Agudath Israel of America and the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies and other partners, for the expansion of kosher food products available under TEFAP, and have provided important feedback to USDA officials on dietary needs in the Jewish community. As a result of these efforts, in July USDA announced that beginning in 2023 it will increase by 50% the number of kosher food products available under this program.  This was followed by the recent launch of a new webpage listing the available kosher items as well as background and guidance on kashrut guidelines, enabling food banks and pantries to better serve those in need in the Jewish community


“We are grateful to the USDA for being so attentive to the concerns we voiced about the lack of nutritional kosher meals available to families in need in the Jewish community,” said AVP of Public Affairs at Jewish Federations of North America Darcy Hirsh. “Especially as the number of Americans facing food insecurity continues to grow, Jewish Federations remain committed to serving the most vulnerable in our communities and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”


USDA officials also acknowledged the cooperation of Jewish Federations of North America in making these important changes possible. 


Jewish Federations are at the frontlines of advocacy to advance policies that impact the safety, security and well-being of the Jewish community.


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