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Toolkit for State Administrators

Guidance for Working with Faith-Based and Community Organizations


USDA is dedicated to ensuring a level playing field that will allow the most effective organizations and programs -- whether faith-based or secular -- to partner with the federal government to provide the best services to those who are in need. In 2004, USDA issued a final general rule to ensure faith-based organizations will receive equal treatment when competing for federal funding opportunities within the framework of Constitutional church-state guidelines. This policy applies the standards of equal treatment to all federal, state, and local agencies, activities and programs, which are federally funded.


For more information on the guiding policies, please visit:

  o USDA’s Equal Treatment Rule (7 CFR Part 16) ensures a level playing field in the federal funding process.
  o This presentation provides a practical explanation of how the Equal Treatment Rule is implemented in USDA programs.
  o The Frequently Asked Questions on FBCI for Food and Nutrition Programs  provides basic legal and practical information.
  o Specific Food and Nutrition Policy Guidance
    -- Guidance on participation of faith-based organizations in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
    -- Guidance for participation of drug addiction and alcohol treatment programs and rehabilitation programs in the  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  
  o The White House Guidance to Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Partnering with the Federal Government will assist you and your partners in understanding the guidelines surrounding Federal funding.
  o The White House FBCI Guide for State Administrators offers specific guidance for State and local compliance with federal regulations.



Last modified: 02/10/2012