California's TEFAP is administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). Since 1984 when Foodlink's programs were part of the Sacramento Food Bank, we have been CDSS' non-profit partner. Our partnership has created the most innovative, responsive food assistance programs in the nation. We coordinate with, order food and schedule deliveries of USDA food, to all 48 county-designated, CDSS-approved TEFAP agencies. The 14 largest TEFAP agencies then receive most of their food deliveries directly from USDA.

We deliver to the remaining 34 agencies, after USDA delivers the food first to our Sacramento headquarters, where we receive, warehouse and coordinate its delivery to its final destination food bank. Using Foodlink’s central warehouse to break bulk allows the a wider variety of USDA food  products to be distributed to the TEFAP participants in these rural counties.

TEFAP reimburses some of our costs; our donors fund the rest. This allows us to offer our services to food banks free of charge.

Donate Don't Dump Program

In 1994, working alongside CDSS, Foodlink began to deliberately seek out major farmers and growers throughout California's Central Valley that could make large donations of perishable food. The plan was to supplement the canned and packaged food USDA provided with fresh fruit and vegetables that would significantly increase the nutritional value of the food bags provided to recipients. By 1996, our "Donate - Don't Dump"  (DDD) program was so successful that it spread to other areas in California, eventually becoming so popular among food banks and food recipients that USDA made it an official part of its nationwide, federal TEFAP program.

Today, we receive 10 to 12 million pounds of food each year from growers and packing houses throughout California that donate to our DDD program. We transport this donated food to food banks throughout the State, combining it with the agencies' TEFAP food, and delivering it free of charge.

Disaster Assistance Program

As a key responder in California's disaster response network, Foodlink has the primary role of supplying disaster food and food boxes to the impacted food banks in our network. Since 1984, whether it's been a fire, earthquake, freeze, flood, drought or other kind of disaster, Foodlink has been there getting food and other supplies to food banks. 

Our disaster assistance activities have us working alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) and many federal, state, county and non-governmental agencies. We partner with CDSS, helping to plan each disaster food response, tailoring it to the needs of the impacted food banks and the needs of disaster victims. We work with our network of agencies and advise CDSS of the types and quantities of food will be needed for emergency feeding operations. Once USDA approves the response plan, we purchase, order, receive, store, repackage and deliver food boxes to every affected area of the State.


Foodlink moves food from our donors to the food banks and people that need it.

Our deliveries combine fresh and packaged products donated by private donors with food provided by government.

Our programs help California's food banks provide fresh, nutritious supplemental food.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

TEFAP is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to supplement the diets of low-income people, including seniors, families and children, by providing them with emergency food. All USDA foods are domestically grown and are offered to all states as one of USDA's methods of agricultural price support used to help farmers.