|DATE:||January 8, 2020|
|SUBJECT:||Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): Final Caseload Assignments for the 2020 Caseload Cycle and Administrative Grants|
On Dec. 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (PL 116-94), which provides $245 million for CSFP for FY 2020. Based on this funding level, FNS is issuing a final national caseload allocation of 736,110 for the 2020 caseload cycle (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020). This amount is equal to the 2019 national caseload allocation. FNS is allocating final caseload and administrative grants as provided below.
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. Alabama, the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, and the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians in California, which FNS added to the program in 2019, are receiving base caseload equal to their 2019 assigned caseload. For all other states and ITOs which began CSFP participation prior to 2019, base caseload for the 2020 caseload cycle is equal to the highest of (1) average monthly participation in FY 2019 or (2) average monthly participation in the last quarter of FY 2019. 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 states for 2020. CSFP regulations further provide that for each CSFP state and ITO, calculated base caseload for 2020 cannot be greater than total assigned caseload for 2019.
Current resources are sufficient to support each state’s and ITO’s base caseload for the 2020 caseload cycle. Several states did not fully use their 2019 assigned caseload. As a result, 19,607 caseload slots are available for reallocation as additional caseload for 2020. This additional caseload is being allocated to those eligible state agencies and ITOs which requested additional caseload and can most efficiently use it without significantly exceeding their caseload assignments, as demonstrated by past performance. 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.
Prior to enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (PL 113-79, the 2014 Farm Bill) on Feb. 7, 2014, state and local agencies administering CSFP were authorized to serve low-income seniors, ages 60 years and older, and women, infants, and children who met the eligibility requirements of the program. However, Section 4102 of the 2014 Farm Bill amended CSFP’s eligibility requirements to phase out the participation of women, infants, and children and transition it to a seniors-only program.
Accordingly, as of Feb. 7, 2014, no new or pending applications from women, infants, or children can be approved. Women, infants, and children who were certified and receiving CSFP benefits as of Feb. 6, 2014 can continue to receive assistance until they are no longer eligible under the program rules in effect on February 6, 2014. At this time, all infants and women have phased out of the program. In states and ITOs that were participating in CSFP prior to 2014, a small number of eligible children may continue on the program through February 2020. After February 2020, all children will have aged out of eligibility. CSFP states and ITOs are responsible for ensuring that no new applications are approved for women, infants, or children; that only children eligible under Section 4102 of the 2014 Farm Bill are currently receiving CSFP benefits; and that no children continue receiving benefits beyond February 2020.
Any women, infants, or children seeking to apply for CSFP benefits should be referred to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other nutrition assistance programs for which they may be eligible.
Program regulations require that states and ITOs 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 or ITOs currently exceeding 2020 caseload assignments must work to reduce participation levels to reflect such assignments.
At the same time, state agencies and ITOs must attempt to fully use their 2020 caseload assignments. State agencies and ITOs that are receiving caseload increases should work to increase participation levels immediately. In order to efficiently utilize caseload, states and ITOs must monitor participation carefully. Per CSFP regulations, caseload assignments in 2021 will depend on each state’s and ITO’s caseload use this year.
It is crucial that states and ITOs manage caseload and USDA Foods in the most efficient manner possible. States and ITOs are required to accurately track and maintain appropriate inventory levels at the state and ITO level. Regulations at 7 CFR Part 250 prohibit CSFP state- and ITO-level inventories from exceeding three months on-hand without approval from FNS. FNS Regional Offices (ROs) closely monitor states’ and ITOs’ year-to-date participation levels and food orders. FNS ROs will reduce food orders to ensure that states and ITOs do not exceed their assigned caseloads or over-order USDA Foods.
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 2020 is $81.15.
The attached chart, Attachment A, displays final caseload assignments and administrative grants for each state and ITO. 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 and ITOs should address questions or comments 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.