The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), often referred to as the “the senior box program”, helps low-income individuals at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious food.
CSFP serves approximately 600,000 low‐income people each month, and provides more than just food and nourishment. The program has also been shown to help combat poor health conditions that often occur for individuals experiencing food insecurity and risk of hunger.
Without proper nutrients, seniors are at risk for:
- Increased risk of disability
- Lowered resistance to infections
- Mental health conditions
- Increase frequency of hospital stays
CSFP food packages are specifically designed to supplement needed sources of nutrients typically lacking in participant’s diets, and can ultimately help seniors avoid costly hospital visits and nursing home placements. CSFP prevents vulnerable seniors from having to choose between food and other basic needs.
How is food provided to participants of CSFP?
While most participants either pick up their monthly CSFP food package at a food bank (or other local sponsor) or have a designee who is authorized to pick up their food package, some communities deliver the food package directly to the participant’s home. This is an important program feature for seniors with limited mobility.
How can I participate in CSFP?
In order to qualify for CSFP, an individual must meet the requirements for both income and age. Individuals who are age 60 and over, and who have incomes less than 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are encouraged to apply for the program.
CSFP is a federally funded program that currently only operates in 39 states (plus the District of Columbia and two Indian reservations). Contact your local state office to ask if your state participates in CSFP and how you can apply.
In most cases, you will be asked to complete a short CSFP application in order to utilize this senior program.