|DATE:||April 18, 2022|
|SUBJECT:||Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): Caseload Assignments for the 2022 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 March 15, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (PL 117-103), which provides $332 million for CSFP for fiscal year (FY) 2022. Based on this funding level, FNS is issuing a final national caseload allocation of 760,547 for the 2022 caseload cycle (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022). 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 assigned in part based on the number of years each state and ITO has been in the program. Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, which FNS added to the program in 2021, is receiving base caseload levels equal to their respective 2021 assigned caseload levels. For all other states and ITOs which began CSFP participation prior to 2020, base caseload for the 2022 caseload cycle is equal to the highest of: (1) average monthly participation in FY 2021, (2) average monthly participation in the last quarter of FY 2021, or (3) participation during September 2021, but only if (a) the state agency or ITO received additional caseload equal to or greater than ten percent of its base caseload in 2021 and October 2021 participation was equal to or greater than 95 percent of September 2021 participation. CSFP regulations further provide that each state agency’s calculated base caseload for 2022 cannot be greater than its total assigned caseload for 2021.
Current resources are sufficient to support each state and ITO’s base caseload and additional caseload requests for the 2022 caseload cycle. Additionally, FNS determined that all additional caseload requests were reasonable based on each state’s and ITO’s history of caseload usage and knowledge of program operations. Accordingly, each requesting state and ITO that utilized equal to or greater than 95 percent of its assigned caseload on an average monthly basis during FY 2021, the last quarter of FY 2021, or, under the circumstances outlined in the Additional Caseload Eligibility and COVID-19 section below, is receiving additional caseload for 2022. Thus, 84,142 additional caseload slots are being allocated in 2022.
Program resources were sufficient to add two new CSFP state agencies to the program this caseload cycle. FNS is allocating 300 caseload slots to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and 150 caseload slots to Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. These are the only ITOs with approved state plans that are not currently participating in CSFP.
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 2021, the continued COVID-19 pandemic led to CSFP participation drops which caused some states to be ineligible for additional caseload. Approximately three-fourths of state agencies which did not meet the 95 percent regulatory threshold submitted requests to FNS for additional caseload along with a justification explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their participation in FY 2021.
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 40 state agencies and allowing them to receive additional caseload in 2022. These 40 state agencies are noted in the attached chart, Attachment A. Final caseload is similar to the tentative caseload released on March 2, 2022, with the exception of one state. Due to an error, New Mexico did not receive additional caseload when FNS issued tentative caseload allocations. This is being corrected at this time and New Mexico will now receive a final caseload allocation of 14,373, thus increasing national caseload to 760,547.
Caseload Use and Food Orders in 2022
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 2022 caseload assignments must work to reduce participation levels to reflect such assignments.
At the same time, states must attempt to fully use their 2022 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 2023 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 $84.47.
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, which may in turn contact the Food Distribution Division Policy Branch.
Food Distribution Division