The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has proposed changes to regulations to improve access and parity within four of its food distribution programs and is accepting comments until Oct. 13, 2023. We strongly encourage you and your Tribe to submit comments.
These changes will impact the following food distribution programs:
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
USDA Foods disaster response
In addition to proposing amendments to current rules, FNS is soliciting feedback on potential future changes related to participant eligibility for FDPIR. You can determine the potential impact these changes might have on eligibility for your community through this worksheet developed by the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative.
While these rule changes are promising, they do not replace the need for legislation specifically regarding increased waivers in the FDPIR program. The Native Farm Bill Coalition will continue to advocate for this priority as Congress releases draft language this fall.
HOW TO COMMENT:
The Native Farm Bill Coalition has developed a sample comment letter for your consideration.
Online comments can be submitted to Regulations.gov: If not directed to the regulations.gov page specifically for this comment, search for the “Agency/Docket Number: FNS-2023-0026” and follow the prompts for submitting a comment. When the portal asks, “What is your comment about?,” choose the best option for the organization or role you are representing. For example, if you are submitting a comment on behalf of a Tribal government as an elected leader or their designated proxy, choose “Govt. – Other.”
U.S. Mail: Food Distribution Policy Branch, Policy Division, Food and Nutrition Service, P.O. Box 2885, Fairfax, Virginia 22031–0885.
Overnight, Courier or Hand Delivery: Gregory Walton, Supplemental Nutrition and Safety Programs, Food Distribution Policy Branch, Food and Nutrition Service, 1320 Braddock Place, 3rd Floor, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.
Please note that all officially submitted comments are public.
Policy analysis on proposed changes (developed by the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative)
Worksheet to determine the potential impact of participant eligibility changes to FDPIR (developed by the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative)
Check this page for ways you can take action and share your priorities for Indian Country in the 2023 Farm Bill. You can also stay involved by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on social media.