After a year of advocating alongside multiple partners, The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) last week warmly welcomed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to create a webpage listing kosher foods in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
In September 2021, Jewish and Muslim members of Congress sent a letter to the USDA urging the department to expand options for kosher and halal food. The USDA subsequently invited faith institutions to discuss the dietary needs of their communities and then met with JFNA’s public affairs team.
These efforts led to an announcement this past July that, beginning in January 2023, the USDA will increase the available kosher food products under its TEFAP program by 50 percent.
TEFAP, a federal program providing surplus food to food banks, then recently launched a new website that lists kosher items and gives guidance and information on kashrut guidelines.
“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 Associate Vice President of Public Affairs at JFNA Darcy Hirsh, adding, “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.”