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CSFP: Delayed Implementation of Revised Food Package Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates

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This memo has been superseded by the Oct. 22, 2020, memo Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): Revised Food Package Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates.

DATE: Oct. 25, 2019
SUBJECT: Commodity Supplemental Food Program: Delayed Implementation of Revised Food Package Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
State Directors
CSFP State Agencies

On Feb. 22, 2019, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced the implementation of significant revisions to the CSFP’s Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates (Distribution Rates). These revised Distribution Rates (Attachment B) were scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1, 2019. However, due to USDA Food purchasing shortfalls and delivery delays, FNS is delaying the implementation date of the revised Distribution Rates. The revised Distribution Rates will now go into effect on Feb. 1, 2020.

FNS recognizes that this delay will be disruptive to state and local agencies, and that many programs may have already begun pre-packing food boxes for November distributions. Accordingly, any food packages that have already been pre-packed per the revised Distribution Rates (Attachment B), may be distributed to CSFP participants without modification. However, food packages packed after the issuance of this memorandum are required to be packed using the October 2018 Distribution Rates (Attachments A.1, A.2 and A.3), even if a state had previously issued a package using the Nov. 1, 2019 guide rates or has sufficient inventory to provide the package that was to go into effect on Nov. 1, 2019.

On Feb. 1, 2020, CFSP food packages should begin following the revised Distribution Rate (Attachment B). However, due to anticipated ongoing product shortages in the plant-based protein category, February 2020 and March 2020 food packages must be issued with reduced quantities of plant-based proteins. During these months, the plant-based protein issuance should be limited to one of the following options:

  • One jar of peanut butter (16 or 18 oz); or
  • Two pounds of dry beans or lentils; or
  • Two cans beans (15.5 oz); or
  • One can of beans and one 1 lb bag of dry beans.

Additionally, new CSFP products are or will soon be available, including new food options and new package sizes of certain products. These new products may be issued under the October 2018 Distribution Rates per the exchange rates listed in Attachment C. Please note that all remaining inventory of older CSFP products must be distributed prior to issuing the newer, smaller package sizes to clients.

Consistent with current FNS policy, some foods in the food package may be unavailable due to changing agricultural market conditions. This may impact the choices listed within the Food Package Categories. State and local agencies must closely monitor their inventories and ensure they are ordering only what is needed to maintain one to no more than three months of inventory. If a state anticipates being unable to issue a full food package as described in this memo, the state should notify its respective regional office as soon as possible for further guidance.

We appreciate your understanding of this issue and your work to ensure CSFP participants continue to receive needed food assistance during this time. State agency and Indian Tribal Organization staff who have questions may contact their respective regional offices, who may in turn contact the national office.

Laura Castro
Food Distribution Division


Page updated: January 12, 2022

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.