This is a Request for Information to help the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the Secretary or USDA) develop the additional criteria, as authorized in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, for a self-determination demonstration project related to the purchase of agricultural commodities for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). USDA requests feedback from Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) and state agencies that administer FDPIR, Tribal leaders and representatives, and Tribal associations. This notice is not a request for proposal and does not commit the Government to issue a solicitation, make an award, or pay any costs associated with responding to this announcement. All submitted information shall remain with the Government and will not be returned. All responses will become part of the public record and will not be held confidential.
USDA received authority in section 4003(b) of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (PL 115-334, the 2018 Farm Bill) to establish a demonstration project for one or more Tribal Organization(s) administering FDPIR to enter into self-determination contracts to purchase agricultural commodities (which are hereafter referred to as “food(s)”) for the FDPIR food package for their Indian Tribe. These Tribally purchased foods will be issued to FDPIR participants in lieu of similar USDA Foods available in the FDPIR food package. The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes up to $5 million to remain available until expended to carry out this demonstration project; however, availability of funds is subject to Congressional appropriations.
The objective of this Request for Information is to receive feedback to assist USDA in developing the process and criteria for determining if a FDPIR Tribal Organization is eligible for a self-determination demonstration project contract, as specified in the 2018 Farm Bill under Section 4003(b)(3). USDA invites comments on specific questions included in this Request for Information and welcomes comments from those involved in the administration of FDPIR, Tribal leaders and representatives, and Tribal associations. USDA will use the comments in response to this Request for Information to inform the competitive process for entering into a self-determination contract(s) as required by Section 4003(b)(2) of the 2018 Farm Bill, upon receipt of Congressional appropriations.