CSFP Caseload Assignments for the 2021 Caseload Cycle and Administrative Grants
|DATE:||February 19, 2021|
|SUBJECT:||Commodity Supplemental Food Program: Caseload Assignments for the 2021 Caseload Cycle and Administrative Grants|
Special Nutrition Programs
MARO, MPRO, MWRO, NERO,
SERO, SWRO, and WRO
CSFP State Agencies
All Current and New States
On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 (PL 116-260), which includes $338 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. While this funding level is an increase over FY 2020, based on food inventories, expected food prices and participation, FNS has determined resources are not sufficient to support increased national caseload. Based on this funding level, FNS is issuing a final national caseload allocation of 736,110 for the 2021 caseload cycle (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021). This amount is equal to the 2020 national caseload allocation. FNS is allocating final caseload and administrative grants to CSFP state agencies, including Indian Tribal Organizations, as provided below.
Final Caseload Assignments
In accordance with CSFP regulations at 7 CFR Part 247, base caseload is equal to the highest of (1) average monthly participation in FY 2020 or (2) average monthly participation in the last quarter of FY 2020. Although CSFP regulations permit September-only participation data to be used to determine base caseload in certain limited circumstances, these regulatory criteria were not met for any state for 2020. CSFP regulations further provide that each state agency’s calculated base caseload for 2021 cannot be greater than its total assigned caseload for 2020.
Current resources are sufficient to support each state’s base caseload for the 2021 caseload cycle. Additionally, because several states did not fully use their 2020 assigned caseload, 35,115 caseload slots are available for reallocation as additional caseload at this time. This additional caseload is being allocated among all eligible states. Each of these states is being allocated a proportional share of the total available caseload slots based on its base caseload, up to its total additional caseload request. Where a proportional share exceeds any state’s additional caseload request, the remaining caseload is being allocated proportionally to the remaining states.
Program resources are not sufficient to add new CSFP state agencies to the program this caseload cycle.
Additional Caseload Eligibility and COVID-19
Per program regulations at 7 CFR 247.21(a)(2), CSFP state agencies must achieve a participation level which was equal to or greater than 95 percent of assigned caseload for the previous caseload cycle in order to be eligible for additional caseload. Eligibility is calculated based on the highest of (1) average monthly participation for the previous fiscal year; or (2) average monthly participation for the last quarter of the previous fiscal year.
During FY 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to CSFP participation drops which caused some states to be ineligible for additional caseload. Sixteen state agencies which did not meet the 95 percent regulatory threshold submitted requests to FNS for additional caseload along a justification explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their participation in FY 2020.
Section 301 of The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act, 42 USC 5141) allows federal agencies to waive or modify administrative conditions for assistance during major disasters if so requested by the applicant state or local authorities. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four territories were issued major disaster declarations in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
FNS is using this authority to waive the 95 percent additional caseload eligibility threshold for these sixteen state agencies and allowing them to receive additional caseload in 2021. These sixteen state agencies are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, and the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe.
Caseload Use and Food Orders in 2020
Program regulations require that CSFP state agencies ensure that program participation levels do not exceed assigned caseload on an average monthly basis. In order to ensure sufficient resources are available to serve CSFP participants throughout the year, any states currently exceeding 2020 caseload assignments must work to reduce participation levels to reflect such assignments.
At the same time, states must attempt to fully use their 2020 caseload assignments. States that are receiving caseload increases should work to increase participation levels immediately. In order to efficiently utilize caseload, states must monitor participation carefully. Per CSFP regulations, caseload assignments in 2021 will depend on each state’s caseload use this year.
It is crucial that states manage caseload and USDA Foods in the most efficient manner possible. States are required to accurately track and maintain appropriate inventory levels at the state level. Regulations at 7 CFR Part 250 prohibit CSFP state level inventories from exceeding three months on-hand without approval from FNS.
FNS regional offices (ROs) closely monitor states’ year-to-date participation levels and food orders. FNS ROs will reduce food orders to ensure that states do not exceed their assigned caseloads or over-order USDA Foods.
Administrative Grant per Assigned Caseload Slot
The Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 (PL 93-86), as amended, mandates an administrative grant per assigned caseload slot to be adjusted each fiscal year to reflect inflation. The mandatory grant per assigned caseload slot for FY 2021 is $82.43.
The attached chart, Attachment A, displays final caseload assignments and administrative grants for each state. Administrative funds for use over the remainder of the fiscal year are subject to apportionment by the Office of Management and Budget. We will keep you informed regarding the availability of such funds.
CSFP state agencies should address questions to their FNS regional offices.
Food Distribution Division
The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.