GM 14-084

Food and Nutrition Service Feasibility Study on Tribal Administration of Nutrition Assistance Programs

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has proposed in the attached October 16, 2014, FEDERAL REGISTER notice to study the feasibility of tribal administration of additional (or all) food programs offered by FNS. The study will also serve as an indication of the level of interest of tribes/tribal organizations in administering FNS programs. This study was mandated by section 4004 of the Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014, PL 113-79). Comments on the proposed information collection are due December 15, 2014.

Currently, 276 tribes receive benefits under the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations through 100 tribal organizations and five states. There are 34 tribal organizations who administer the Women, Infants and Children Program. Other nutrition programs may involve some tribal administration shared with state or other organizations.

Below is a listing of key FNS food programs:

• Commodity Supplemental Food Program
• Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
• The Emergency Food Assistance Program
• Child and Adult Care Food Program
• Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
• National School Lunch Program
• School Breakfast Program
• Special Milk Program
• Summer Food Service Program
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
• Women, Infants and Children Program
• Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
• Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

FNS proposes a multi-modal study that will combine interviews during site visits with a survey of key tribal leaders and tribal administrative staff.

Under the Agriculture Act of 2014, the Secretary of Agriculture is to submit a report to Congress within 18 months of enactment (which would be August 2015) that includes:
• A list of programs, services, functions, and activities with respect to which it would be feasible to be administered by a tribal organization
• A description of whether that administration would necessitate statutory or regulatory changes; and
• Other issues that may be determined by the Secretary and developed through consultation with tribes and tribal organizations.

Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the FNS feasibility study on tribal administration of nutrition programs.