Section I - Introduction

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) administers The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Food Purchase Program. The Hunger Relief Tax Check-Off Program is only available when funded.  These programs were established for the purpose of providing emergency food to families and individuals who are at risk of hunger or facing food insecurity. This Program Manual was developed to provide guidance to providers who administer these programs.  Federally funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the program distributes USDA food (also referred to as "commodities") to food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters statewide. EFP allows agencies to significantly increase the amount and variety of food offered to clients at no cost to their organization.

The IDHS, through the Division of Family and Community Services, Office of Adult Services and Basic Supports, Bureau of Basic Supports manages these programs which are an important resource for all in need of assistance. Families and individuals access program services through a statewide network of providers who are the initial and integral point of service for eligible participants. The IDHS Program Manual gives guidance to providers to ensure quality service delivery and program compliance.

Providers across the state should refer to this manual in the implementation of The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Food Purchase Program. Each program is described in its own section that includes policies and procedures necessary to deliver program services, collect data on participant outcomes and program performance. Each program has reporting requirements. The manual provides submittal dates for the required reports. It contains detailed information on program budgeting, monitoring, and procedures developed to further the goals of the program.

In addition to the guidance provided in the manual, the Bureau of Basic Support staff are always available to provide technical support.