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Welcome to the FNS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office

Enacted in 1966, the FOIA provides that any person has a right to obtain access to agency records, except to the extent that such records, or portions of them, are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of the three law enforcement exclusions. It is FNS policy to release information to the fullest extent of the law including releasing information that may be legally withheld provided there is no foreseeable harm associated with the release. This right of access is enforceable in court.

Are you interested in filing a FOIA request? If so, please click on the Getting Started tab below.

Getting Started

Information for USDA FOIA Requesters

To see USDA's requirements for making a request, please review §1.3 Requirements for Making a Request of our FOIA Regulations.

  1. Before submitting FOIA requests, we encourage you to review the FNS website. FNS routinely posts records and what you are looking for may already be publicly available. For high interest and frequently requested items, visit our electronic reading room.
  2. The FOIA does not require agencies to do research, answer written questions, or create agency records in order to respond to a request. Accordingly, please make sure your request is framed in a way to direct a search for specific agency records.
  3. Please consider scoping your requests to those items that can be retrieved electronically to facilitate more efficient processing.
  4. Please ensure any follow-up communication regarding your request includes the assigned internal tracking number. Doing so will help us to quickly retrieve the details of your requests.
FOIA Reading Room

The FNS electronic reading room is regularly updated with FOIA logs and popular FOIA requests that FNS receives.

FNS FOIA Point of Contact

FOIA inquiries for FNS should be directed to:
Kevin Lynch, FOIA Officer

Submit an Online FOIA Request

FNS encourages you to consider scoping your request to electronic files only as analysts likely have reduced access to offices where paper files are maintained. FNS strongly encourages you to submit your requests online using one of the following three options.

Submit Online via the FNS FOIA email inbox:

Submit Online via USDA's Public Access Link (PAL): You can access the USDA PAL web portal that allows you to create, submit, and track the status of your FOIA request(s). You can also use PAL to download your responsive records. Prior to use, you must register and create a username and password.

Submit Online via the Department of Justice FOIA Portal: From the main screen, click “Create a Request” to get started. You can search for FNS, or search for “Department of Agriculture” to see a list of all USDA FOIA components.

FOIA Resources
Page updated: June 12, 2024