The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) in Georgia

The Georgia Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a federally funded government assistance program implemented throughout the state to help elderly citizens gain access to enough nutrition to keep them healthy. The CSFP assists by providing eligible Georgia residents with nutritious food and nutritional education to ensure they are living a healthy and productive lifestyle. Citizens wondering, “What is the CSFP in GA?” should contact a local participating food bank to inquire about receiving nutritional benefits as needed. The process for how to apply to CSFP includes a beneficiary visiting a participating food bank and proving he or she meets income guidelines for the program. Proving eligibility for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program involves a resident providing documentation to confirm his or her age, income level and need for nutritional assistance. When a resident meets Georgia CSFP qualifications and visits a participating food bank, he or she may be offered food items and educational assistance to improve his or her health. To find out more about the CSFP program, its eligibility criteria and the application process, review the following information.

What is the CSFP Program in Georgia?

The Georgia CSFP program is a locally administered program that receives food commodities from the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service department. The supplies provided for the local Commodity Supplemental Food Program are administered to local participating food banks for distribution to eligible residents. Residents who can prove eligibility for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program in GA can visit the local food banks to receive these commodity foods to bring home for preparation. Residents who meet CSFP qualifications may also request nutritional education from staff at the local food banks or literature that outlines healthy food preparation techniques.

Residents who are qualified for CSFP program can visit local banks to receive diversified food commodities, which may include:

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned vegetables and fruits
  • Milk and cereal
  • Pasta and rice
  • Dried or canned beans

Commodity Supplemental Food Program benefits may also include additional food items, such as cheese and juices. The availability of different CSFP food commodities can change monthly depending on the types of foods provided by the federal government. Each food bank serves eligible CSFP program participants residing in specific counties. To learn what is the CSFP eligibility requirements, download our free comprehensive online guide.

Eligibility for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program

To complete the process for how to apply to CSFP, a resident must prove he or she meets all program eligibility requirements. To meet the requirements for eligibility for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a resident must be 60 years of age or older and meet the program’s income qualifications. A resident must meet the CSFP income requirements, which is certain a percentage of the Federal Poverty Level. Beneficiaries who meet the income requirements for SNAP are also eligible for CSFP. The resident must also express a need for food commodities and nutritional education to receive benefits through the program.

The focus on only assisting elderly residents is a recent change for the GA Commodity Supplemental Food Program eligibility criteria and was made in 2014. Previously, the CSFP was designed to assist residents of all ages who met the income requirement criteria and expressed nutritional risk and a need for assistance. Children and other residents currently receiving CSFP benefits who are not 60 years of age or older and continue to meet all other Georgia CSFP eligibility requirements may still receive benefits under the program until no longer eligible. However, to meet CSFP qualifications in Georgia, a resident cannot currently be enrolled to receive Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program benefits. The CSFP program and WIC program benefits cannot be issued concurrently. Residents who live together in a group home where congregate meals are provided are not eligible for CSFP benefits through local participating food banks. To find out additional requirements for eligibility for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, review our downloadable and informative online guide.

How to Apply to CSFP in Georgia

While the Commodity Supplemental Food Program is a federally funded program, applicants must apply directly to the state of Georgia. Georgia CSFP food banks may require a resident to complete their own original applications before providing benefits. When completing the process for how to apply to CSFP, a resident should visit the local food bank with pertinent information pertaining to his or her income and household characteristics. The CSFP application may ask for:

  • The name and address of the applicant.
  • The applicant’s household income and information on all members residing in the home.
  • The applicant’s age and date of birth.

Additionally, to meet Georgia CSFP qualifications, an applicant must provide an acceptable form of identification when attempting to receive food commodities from a participating food bank. CSFP applicants can only receive benefits from one local food bank. Applying for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program at multiple food banks to receive benefits from each is prohibited and may be considered benefit fraud. When completing the CSFP application, a food bank worker reviews the information and approves or denies the applicant for benefits. If eligibility for the commodity supplemental food program is confirmed, then the applicant will receive available commodity food items and nutritional education as needed. If the GA CSFP qualifications are not met, then the food bank worker may suggest additional government assistance programs, such as SNAP or any of the school meal programs, the applicant may qualify for instead.