Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Agriculture , Food and Nutrition Service
CFDA #: 10.567

Purpose of this program:

To improve the diets of needy persons in households on or near Indian reservations through the distribution of commodities.

Possible 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).

Who is eligible to apply...

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.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

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.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

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.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Cash assistance is provided by the Department to State agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations for use in administering the program.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


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.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

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.

Preapplication Coordination

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.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Heads of households may appeal adverse or delayed decisions as the regulations provide.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Program continues for the assigned certification period, unless withdrawal is requested or required because of program irregularities. Households are recertified periodically, depending on household circumstances. Household certification periods may not exceed one year.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Households must be living on an Indian reservation, or be Indian households living in a designated area near an Indian reservation or in Indian country for 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.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

Sale, Exchange, or Donation of Property and Goods

Programs which provide for the sale, exchange, or donation of Federal real property, personal property, commodities, and other goods including land, buildings, equipment, food and drugs. This does not include the loan of, use of, or access to Federal facilities or property.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

From $79,031 to $4,937,577 in administrative funds for fiscal year 2001.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 02 $22,557,000; FY 03 est $22,557,000; and FY 04 est $26,121,000. (Food donations) FY 02 $56,943,000; FY 03 est $53,243,000; and FY 04 est $55,710,000. Bonus commodities may also be available.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

The average monthly participation of needy persons in low-income households was 113,248 for fiscal year 2001; 96 Indian Tribal Organizations and six States administer the program for 235 Indian tribes. As of fiscal year 2001, 86 Indian Tribal organizations are 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 made changes to the food package that it provides to recipients in order to make it more nutritious and responsive to recipient needs.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

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.

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.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Financial, inventory, and participant data must be submitted in accordance with requirements established by the Department.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


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 $300,000 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.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Each State agency and Indian Tribal Organization shall 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.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Agricultural Act of 1949, Section 416, as amended, Section 32, Public Law 74-320, as amended; Food and Agriculture Act of 1963, Section 709, as amended; Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, Section 4(a), as amended; Food Stamp Act of 1977, Section 4, as amended, Section 1336, Public Law 97-98, as amended; Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-193.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

7 CFR 253; 7 CFR 254; 7 CFR 250.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

See Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Les Johnson, Director, Food Distribution Division, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA 22302. Telephone: (703) 305-2680.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: