CHARLESTON — West Virginia is to receive an additional $24 million worth of food commodities in 2020 through the Emergency Food Assistance Program and CARES Act.

These items will be distributed by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the state’s 2 food banks, Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway and Facing Hunger in Huntington, to approved food pantries.

Approved local pantries will be able to receive the emergency food but must be enrolled within TEFAP program.

“Our staff is working very closely with Mountaineer Food Bank and Facing Hunger Food to get these supplies to those who need it the most. What we are relying on the network of pantries and non-profit organizations to help distribute that food. We need more organizations to step up and be a part of this effort,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.

TEFAP is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. USDA provides 100-percent American-grown USDA Foods and administrative funds to states to operate TEFAP.

“If you need food assistance, please contact your local food pantry. There are hundreds of pantries and organizations supported by our network. You may also visit www.mountaineerfoodbank.org and select the Find Food tab, which will connect you with food pantries throughout Mountaineer Food Bank’s 48- county service area. If your non-profit wishes to join this effort to feed our most vulnerable, you must apply for membership with Mountaineer Food Bank or Facing Hunger Food Bank,” said Chad Morrison, Executive Director of Mountaineer Food Bank.

For more information about TEFAP, visit fns.usda.gov/tefap/emergency-food-assistance-program.

To apply for the program, contact Mountaineer Food Bank at 304-364-5518 or Facing Hunger Foodbank at 304-523-6029.

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