The 2010 Child Nutrition reauthorization provided funding to test innovative strategies to end childhood hunger and food insecurity. Demonstration projects were funded and implemented in Chickasaw Nation, Kentucky, Navajo Nation, Nevada, and Virginia. The reauthorization also required an independent and rigorous evaluation, which occurred in all of the sites besides Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation project, which focused on capacity building and community outreach, was difficult to evaluate because an appropriate control group could not be identified. Therefore, the Navajo Nation demonstration was not evaluated and a final evaluation report is not available.
Section 4004 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 required a study to determine the feasibility of Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) administering Federal nutrition assistance programs in lieu of State agencies. This study presents broad general findings regarding Tribal interest in administering nutrition assistance programs, ability to administer all or parts of these programs, and potential challenges.
This report assesses that pilot and includes a qualitative evaluation of the vendor and ITO experiences and an assessment of pilot costs.
The Prime Vendor Pilot was conducted as part of USDA's Business Process Re-engineering efforts to improve the administration and operation of the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. Under this pilot, USDA partnered with the Department of Defense, which had an existing contract with commercial vendors and distributors.