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A program that evolved out of a surplus commodity donation efforts begun by the USDA in late 1981 to dispose of surplus foods (especially cheese) held by the Commodity Credit Corporation. This program was explicitly authorized by the Congress in 1983 when funding was provided to assist states with the costs involved in storing and distributing the commodities. The program originally was entitled the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program when authorized under the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983. The word "temporary" was dropped from statute and program title in the FACT Act of 1990. The acronym EFAP now is used for this program.

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