The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

FDPIR Benefits means Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. The program is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service at the federal level. FNS is an agency that is part of the US Department of Agriculture. At the local level, the program is administered by an agency from the state’s government or by the Indian Tribal Organizations. Presently, there are about 276 tribes that are receiving FDPIR Benefits under the program of FDPIR. FDPIR Benefits are received through 5 State agencies and 100 ITOs.

The US Department of Agriculture is the agency that deals with the purchasing and shipping of FDPIR foods to State agencies and ITOs. The process is done based on the orders present in their list of foods that are available. The administering agencies deal with storage and distribution of food while determining the applicant’s eligibility. These administering agencies are those dealing with providing nutrition education to all recipients. USDA is also the agency that takes cares of providing the administering agencies with the needed fund for the program’s administrative costs. The program is authorized by the Food Nutrition Act of 2008 under Section 4(b) and Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 under Section 4(a). The regulations that govern the program are found at 7 CFR Parts 250 and 253 to 254.

Eligibility Requirements for FDPIR Benefits

American Indian as well as non-Indian households receiving low income and are residing in a reservation are eligible to receive the FDPIR Benefits. Households that live in approved areas close to Oklahoma or a reservation are also eligible to apply for FDPIR Benefits. But the latter case can only be eligible if the households have at least one member who is a part of a federally-recognized tribe.

All households are certified depending on both financial and non-financial standards, which are made by the Federal government. This certification needs to be recertified at least every twelve months. Disabled and elderly households are certified for a maximum of 24 months.

USDA Foods that are Included in FDPIR Benefits List

Every month, the participating households are to receive a package of food to help in maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet. All participants can select from more than 70 products, which include canned fruits, beans, soups, spaghetti sauce, cereals, rice, pastas and other grains, temperature milk, egg mix and cheese. Other selections of products are non-fat dry milk, flour, peanut butter, peanuts, dried fruit and juices, flour, crackers, bakery mix as well as cornmeal. Participants can also choose products that are fresh produce instead of fruits and vegetables that are canned.

The Application Process

The first step in the application process entails determining whether the applicant is eligible for FDPIR Benefits. To know about this, applicants should contact the state agency or ITO responsible for administering FDIR within the area they live in.

It was stated in the last accounting of the number of people who have and use the FDPIR Benefits in 2013 that there were already 75,590 individuals participating in the program.

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