The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

The Arizona Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a Nutrition Assistance program that is overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The CSFP provides supplemental nutrition items (not monetary cash benefits like Arizona SNAP) to seniors 60 years of age and older in low-income circumstances. If you are looking for an answer to the question, “What is the CSFP?” you will learn exactly how the program operates. It is important for interested recipients to learn how to apply to CSFP in AZ and the required conditions of eligibility for the commodity supplemental food program, according to federal prerequisites. The USDA provides state funding for the CSFP in an effort to supplement the nutrition of seniors who meet CSFP qualifications. In addition, AZ CSFP educational opportunities are provided, so that recipients not only eat healthier foods, but they understand the importance of doing so. Seniors learn to make healthy and nutritious food choices to improve their overall health and quality of life though this program. Learn more about CSFP in Arizona in the sections outlined below.

What is the CSFP program in Arizona?

Under the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Arizona CSFP serves to allocate nutritional, USDA-approved food items once per month to eligible seniors. The monthly AZ Commodity Supplemental Food Program food box contains a variety of nutrient-rich foods that are essential to the health and well-being of seniors at nutritional risk. CSFP foods contain protein, iron and other vitamins and nutrients.

CSFP in Arizona provides foods that are high in nutritional value. These provisions are not provided as a complete diet, but rather include items and nutrients that are often missing from beneficiaries’ diets. A sampling of the foods inside a CSFP box include the following:

  • Low-in-sodium or sodium-free canned vegetables

  • Unsweetened or lightly sweetened canned fruits

  • Whole grains including cereal, oats and whole-grain noodles

  • Proteins like poultry, dry beans and lean meats

For more information on CSFP items and how to utilize benefits, download our free guide.

How to Apply to CSFP in Arizona

If you meet prerequisites for eligibility for the commodity supplemental food program in Arizona, visit the AZ CSFP site closest to you for an interview. If you meet CSFP qualifications, you will be enrolled in the program and begin receiving food assistance or put on a waitlist until benefits are available. For more details on the waitlist and other important components of eligibility for CSFP, download our comprehensive guide.

To qualify for benefits under the AZ CSFP program, applicants must bring the following items with them to their initial interviews:

  • Proof of income for everyone in the household, whether they are applying for benefits or not (paycheck stubs, Social Security award letter, letter from employer or tax return)

  • Proof of residency (photo ID or Arizona drivers license with current address, passport or rent or mortgage certificate)

Each participant who meets Arizona CSFP qualifications for this program may receive one box of food prior to submitting proof of address for one month. These individuals have 30 days to fulfill the proof of address requirement, or benefits are cancelled.

Upon fulfilling the requirements of eligibility for the commodity supplemental food program in Arizona, participants are certified in the program for six months. At the end of the six-month period, the local agency will reevaluate the case and determine if the participant still qualifies for the program and meets the requirement of eligibility. If so, the agency will extend benefits for another six months (after verifying the participant’s address). Agency staff can complete this second interview over the phone or when the recipient arrives to pick up the box of food for the sixth month. This process does not require a formal CSFP recertification or documentation that it took place, though participants must continue to meet the AZ CSFP eligibility requirements pertaining to household income. Even if a participant continues to exhibit eligibility, benefits could stop if he or she does not communicate a continued interest in receiving nutrition assistance after the initial six months.

Educational Component of Arizona CSFP

Through Arizona CSFP, low-income seniors gain access to knowledge of nutrition with educational components of the program that inform participants on the nutritional value of food. In addition, eligibility for CSFP gives participants access to recipes they can cook using AZ CSFP foods that are simple to make and appeal to their appetites. Participants in the Arizona CSFP program learn the relationship between food and factors that contribute to quality of life, like health and energy. The goal of nutrition education is to motivate positive changes in eating habits to improve the overall nutritional status of recipients. Incorporating supplemental foods into the routine of seniors prevents nutrition-related health issues. Learn more about the CSFP program and what it entails by downloading our informative guide.

What Kind of Assistance Does the Arizona Family Assistance Services Department Offer?

The state of Arizona can assist eligible families with services such as food assistance or temporary cash assistance. To assess your eligibility, you must fill out an application and provide the required documents. To learn all of the details needed to prepare for this application process, download our comprehensive guide today.

Who Is Eligible To Benefit From the Arizona Family Assistance Services?

Eligible low-income families or individuals in Arizona can benefit from programs offered by the Family Assistance Services Department. Temporary financial assistance or Nutrition Assistance services are available to those who qualify upon filing an application. To find out if your family is eligible for these benefits, download our guide now.