Food Pantries and USDA Commodity Programs
Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) and The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) are federal programs that helps supplement the diets of low - income persons, including the elderly, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance. The EFAP food commodities are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through surplus foods, price subsidies and other USDA food purchases. FoodLink works with over 30 facilities throughout the county to help administer this food resource and hunger alleviation program for the USDA. These food items vary, but typically include flour, dry milk, fruits and vegetables, peanut butter and other foods.
Our weekend SmartPack program provides nutritious and easily prepared food at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and holiday vacations. FoodLink works closely with school nurses, staff and administration of Title 1 (very low income) schools in our community to identify and refer children into the SmartPack program. Each week during the school year, SmartPacks provides a child with a sack of with child-friendly foods including fresh produce. FoodLink distributes more than 600 SmartPacks each week. Items in the bags include a selection of peanut butter; ravioli or stew in pop-top cans; soup; fruit bars; cereal; tuna fish pouches; juice boxes; fruit cups; raisins; granola bars; yogurt, cheese, and some fresh produce.
Nutrition on the Go/Healthy School Farmer’s Markets
In order for our clients to feel empowered to use the goods they receive food is distributed in a respectful and dignified manner. Nutrition on the Go/Healthy School Farmer’s Markets are set up like an open-air, farmers' market, individuals and families are invited to see the produce, enjoy samples, take suggested recipe, gather health and nutrition resources and ask questions about the items they are receiving. As with all of our programs, all goods and services are provided at no cost. We coordinate Nutrition on the Go/Healthy School Farmer’s Markets in communities with little or no access to fresh produce in their local markets due to unavailability or expense. FoodLink partners with a variety of providers and agencies to promote healthier choices in a festive and fun, community-building atmosphere
Each month, an average of 3,500 household members and students benefit from fresh produce at all sites. Many families come to these sites, not only because of the need but, for the positive experience and support provided to help get their families on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
Our Happy Kitchen/Nuestra Cocina Contenta
Our nutrition education and kitchen workshop promotes farm to fork skills as well as food and financial literacy. We provide families access with fresh produce & shelf-stable ingredients and teach them to choose, plan and cook healthy and affordable meals that maximize their budgets and food resources. We make cooking fund & delicious with our 5-week introductory class that is rotated throughout the county as well as specialty themed workshops.
FoodLink for Tulare County, Inc.
Location: 611 2nd Street, Exeter CA 93221
Mail: PO Box 391, Exeter CA 93221
(559) 651-3663 or (559) 592-0117
Hours of Operation
Monday — Friday
9am — 4pm