Surplus Agricultural Products Grant

The Feeding Texas network is calling on state lawmakers to increase funding for the Surplus Agricultural Products Grant, a program that helps food banks rescue surplus or unsellable produce from farmers to provide nutritious food for their communities. 

boy holding watermelon

Fight Hunger, Improve Health, Reduce Food Waste

This program is a partnership between Feeding Texas and the Texas Department of Agriculture.  In Addition to feeding hungry Texans, the funds would offset losses for Texas growers and mitigate the impact of food waste on the environment. 


Since 2001, the Surplus Agricultural Products grant has supported a cost-effective strategy to fight hunger, improve health, and reduce food waste in Texas. Food banks
use this funding to obtain fresh produce that is unsellable due to imperfections or market conditions. 100% of program funds go to farmers and transportation providers to offset the cost of harvesting, storage, packaging, and freight.

food statistic

In the 2019-21 biennium, Texas food banks distributed 90.7M pounds of fresh produce to Texans facing hunger, at an average cost of $.11/lb., or nine pounds of produce per $1. Texas economist Ray Perryman estimates that every $1 invested in the program yields $3.27 in healthcare and education savings for Texas.


Texans everywhere are struggling with the rising cost of food, and food banks are still seeing one-third more clients than they did prior to the pandemic. Recent data shows that 1.5 million Texas households were found to be facing hunger, more than anyhousehold statistic other state.

While inflation is hurting both Texas farmers and low-income Texas families, food banks are also coping with the rising costs of food and fuel. While need is increasing, USDA support for food banks and local donations fell sharply this year. Food banks project they will receive 31% less food in 2022 compared to 2021.


Food banks will be unable to meet the increased need in Texas due to inflation without additional  support from the state. The Texas Legislature should ensure that food banks can continue to provide healthy produce to struggling Texans across the state by increasing funding for the Surplus Agricultural Products grant to $20M for the biennium.