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Significant Revisions to the Food Package Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates Effective Nov. 2019

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EO Guidance Document #
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Policy Memos
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PDF Icon Policy Memo (89.53 KB)
DATE: Feb, 22, 2019
SUBJECT: Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): Announcement of Significant Revisions to the Food Package Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates, Effective Nov. 1, 2019
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
State Directors
All CSFP State Agencies and
Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs)

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is making significant revisions to the CSFP food package which state agencies are expected to implement on Nov. 1, 2019. FNS is releasing the updated Distribution Rates at this time to allow CSFP state agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations ( ITOs ) sufficient time to consult with local agencies and plan their ordering accordingly to ensure smooth implementation of the enhanced food package. For any food packages issued prior to Nov. 1, 2019, the current CSFP Maximum Monthly Distribution Rates (Distribution Rates) issued on Oct. 2, 2018 (Attachments A .1, A.2, and A.3 ) remain in effect . CSFP state and local agencies should continue to reference the Distribution Rates in conjunction with FNS Instruction 835-1, Revision 2 for all food packages issued prior to Nov. 1, 2019.

The revised Distribution Rates (Attachment B) are the culmination of a year-long process of working with various CSFP stakeholders to update the food package to reflect an almost all - senior population. In 2017, USDA convened a workgroup of CSFP state and local agencies and FNS national and regional office staff to recommend changes to FNS senior leadership on the types and quantities of foods offered in the food package, as well as changes that would streamline local program administration. The enhanced food package now better aligns with MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and includes new nutritious food options. FNS is also phasing out the larger package sizes of certain products, including instant nonfat dry milk, dry beans, oats, grits, and rice to increase local flexibility and variety in the food package, provide more appropriate package sizes for small households, and eliminate the requirement to distribute certain products on a bimonthly basis.

Before implementation of the enhanced food package in November and effective immediately, states and local agencies should begin to adjust their ordering and work to distribute any remaining products with larger package sizes . However, we recognize that some of these products may still be left in inventory in and after November. State agencies should therefore instruct local agencies to first distribute all remaining inventory of these products prior to distributing the newer, smaller package sizes to clients. With the exception of nonfat dry milk , which is now available for delivery in 12.8 ounce packages and should be distributed monthly , any new products received prior to Nov. 1, 2019 should not be distributed until food package issuance in November. FNS will provide additional ordering guidance regarding the new products at a later date.

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.

FNS will be implementing a communications initiative over the coming months that will provide a detailed overview of the food package changes and what states/ITOs and local agencies should do to prepare. In the meantime, state agency and ITO staff who have questions may contact their respective regional offices, who may in turn contact the national office at (703) 305-2680.

Laura Castro
Food Distribution Division


Page updated: April 07, 2023

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.