Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.
The average monthly participation of needy persons in low-income households was 99,011 for fiscal year 2005; 97 Indian Tribal Organizations and five States administer the program for 257 Indian tribes. As of fiscal year 2005, 97 Indian Tribal organizations were approved for participation in the Fresh Produce Program, by which participants may select fresh fruits and vegetables in lieu of canned fruits and vegetables. Additional sites are expected to join the project as they become capable. Prior to the pilot, only foods with a minimum shelf life of 6 months were available to participating households. In addition, FNS is making changes to the food package that it provides to recipients in order to make it more nutritious and responsive to recipient needs.
Uses and Use Restrictions
Indian Tribal Organizations and State Distributing Agencies make food available for distribution to qualifying households.
Households may not be charged.
Donated foods may not be sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of (authorized distribution excepted) without prior, specific approval of the Department.
FNS administrative funds must be expended to meet expenses incurred in operating the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
These funds may not be used to purchase real property (land or buildings).
Authorized Indian Tribal Organizations and State agencies designated by the Governor, legislature, or other authority may receive and distribute donated foods.
State agencies that administer the program are eligible to receive Federal cash assistance (administrative funds) to assist in meeting operating expenses incurred in administering the program.
Indian Tribal Organizations may be their own State agency for the administration of the program on reservations if determined capable by FNS.
Households must be living on an Indian reservation, or be Indian households living in a designated area near an Indian reservation or in an approved service area in Oklahoma, and must be certified by local authorities as having inadequate income and resources. Upper limits of allowable income vary with family size. Household resources for all household sizes are set by FNS.
Households are individually certified by local administering offices based upon Federal eligibility standards. Administrative costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for administering agencies.
Aplication and Award Process
This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.
12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
State agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations that want to administer the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations must submit a completed Form SF-424 (application) to the appropriate FNS regional office in their area. The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-102, as implemented by 7 CFR Part 3016, must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Cash assistance is provided by the Department to State agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations for use in administering the program.
State agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations applying to administer the program must begin program operation within 120 days of FNS' determination that they are capable of administering the program. Extensions to this time frame may be granted if there is compelling justification.
Section 416 of the Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended; Section 32 of Public Law 74-320, as amended; Section 709 of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1963, as amended; Section 4(a) of the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, as amended; Section 4(b) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, , as amended; Section 1336 of Public Law 97-98, as amended; Section 4122(c) of Public Law 107-171.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
FNS must determine within 30 days of the receipt of a completed application if a State agency is capable of administering the program.
Heads of households may appeal adverse or delayed decisions as the regulations provide.
Program continues unless withdrawal is requested or required because of program irregularities, or funding is unavailable. Households are recertified periodically, depending on household circumstances. Household certification periods may not exceed one year.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Not applicable to food donations. Administrative expense funds are allocated on basis of need for funds. There is a 25 percent matching requirement except with compelling justification.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Food donations continuous; cash assistance released quarterly by the electronic transfer system to the Department of Treasury. Funds may be withdrawn as needed.
Post Assistance Requirements
Financial, inventory, and participant data must be submitted in accordance with requirements established by the Department.
In accordance with the provision of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States and Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," State and local governments, and non-profit organization that expend Federal financial assistance of $500,000 or more within any fiscal year shall have either a single audit or (in certain cases) a program specific audit made for that year. Audits may be conducted less frequently under conditions specified in A-133.
Each State agency and Indian Tribal Organization must maintain accurate and complete records of all receipts and dispositions. Records must be retained for 3 years following the close of the fiscal year or until any outstanding audit, claim or litigation is settled.
(Grants) (Food donations). Bonus commodities may also be available. FY 07 $77,533,898; FY 08 est $88,477,000; and FY 09 est not reported.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
From $79,031 to $4,937,577 in administrative funds for fiscal year 2001.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
7 CFR Part 253; 7 CFR Part 254; 7 CFR Part 250.
Regional or Local Office
See Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Cathie McCullough, Director, Food Distribution Division, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA 22302. Telephone: (703) 305-2680.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
The Republic of Rwanda has been picked as one of the six African countries as beneficiaries for a new fellowship fund program designed at supporting social entrepreneurs in tackling issues on food security.