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CSFP: Revised Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates to Return to Full Vegetable Issuance

Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (245.81 KB)
DATE:April 19, 2022
SUBJECT:Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): Revised Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates to Return to Full Vegetable Issuance
TO:Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
State Directors
CSFP State Agencies
All Current and New States
Guide Rate Change

Since December 2020, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) has been experiencing product shortages due to ongoing issues with vendors’ ability to supply some products. Canned vegetables were the most severely impacted. To address this issue, on Feb. 26, 2021, FNS temporarily reduced the quantity of vegetables offered in the CSFP maximum monthly distribution rates, or guide rates, from 8 cans to 4 cans. Due to improving market conditions and the replenishment of vegetable inventories, FNS raised the temporary issuance to 6 cans on Nov. 1, 2021. As conditions further improve, FNS is now in a position, effective May 1, 2022, to return to the full issuance of 8 units of vegetables or soup for May 2022 distributions and beyond. Attachment A provides the current guide rate for CSFP to be implemented on May 1, 2022.

As a reminder, the vegetable category distribution options are either:

  1. 8 units of vegetables or soup, or
  2. 6 units of vegetables/soup and 1 package of dehydrated potatoes
    * Large can-size vegetables (16 oz. and greater) count as two vegetables in the guide rate.

While we encourage states and ITOs to issue the full 8 unit vegetable/soup category issuance to the greatest extent possible, to minimize program burden, any food packages that have already been pre-packed per the previous guide rate (effective Feb. 26, 2021), may be distributed to CSFP participants without modification. However, May 2022 food packages packed after the issuance of this memorandum must be packed according to the distribution rates in Attachment A.

Temporary CSFP Product Purchases

Consistent with current FNS policy, some foods in the food package may be unavailable from time to time due to changing agricultural market conditions. This may impact the choices listed within the food package categories. To alleviate recent vegetable product shortages, FNS has been purchasing a variety of vegetables not typically available in the CSFP package. To enable FNS to supply sufficient vegetables nationally to meet the full food package issuance rate, these alternative vegetable options will continue to be purchased for the time being. Depending on changes in the market, FNS may also need to purchase other products not usually offered. Attachment B includes guidance on how to distribute these temporary products and will be updated on an as-needed basis when additional products are purchased.

We appreciate your assistance during this temporary shortage and your work to ensure CSFP participants continue to receive the needed food assistance during this time.

Laura Castro
Food Distribution Division


Page updated: November 14, 2023