Saturday, November 1, 2008
The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) provides USDA foods to low-income households living on Indian reservations, to American Indian households residing in approved areas near reservations or in Oklahoma, and to Alaska Natives. FDPIR serves as an alternative to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program). In fiscal year 2008, FDPIR provided benefits to an average of over 88,000 individuals per month in 271 tribes, at a cost of $88.5 million. Approximately $34.7 million of this was designated for local administrative expenses, the remainder for food purchases. Program rules require that “[t]he food package offered to each household shall [provide] an opportunity to obtain a more nutritious diet and shall represent an acceptable nutritional alternative to Food Stamp Program benefits.” USDA offers nearly 100 different items. Participating tribes choose within food categories which items to provide to participants based on their storage capabilities and client needs and preferences.