FD Program Overview
USDA's Food and
Nutrition Service (FNS) administers Food Distribution
Programs that provide food and nutrition assistance to
eligible individuals, families, and institutions
participating in the following:
works closely with two other USDA agencies to obtain the
USDA foods purchased and distributed to these outlets.
These include the Agricultural
Marketing Service (AMS) and the Farm
Service Agency (FSA) Commodity Operations Office.
perishable products such as meat, poultry, fish, fruit, vegetables, egg products, dry beans, and tree
nuts for distribution in eligible outlets participating in Food
Distribution Programs. These products (also referred to as
Group A foods)
are purchased through competitive bids or negotiated contracts.
USDA's purchase programs also assist farmers,
USDA foods producers, and
processors by helping to maintain stable commodity prices. They enforce
such Federal Laws as the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and
the Federal Seed Act.
Commodity Operations Office purchases basic nonperishable
B-type USDA foods such as dairy products, cereals,
grains, peanut products, nonfat dry milk and vegetable
oils for eligible outlets participating in
Distribution Programs. In addition to handling the distribution of
USDA foods, this Office is
also responsible for the acquisition, procurement, and storage of
USDA foods, as well as management of the
A major responsibility of these
three USDA partner-agencies is to provide nutritious foods
to our nation's children and needy adults while at the same time strengthening American
USDA purchases foods to remove surpluses from the marketplace and delivers them
through the food distribution programs to State agencies. These agencies, in turn,
them to schools and other outlets.
To view a brief description of the
food and nutrition programs offered by USDA,