Native American Issues
US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. (2016). Feasibility of Tribal Administration of Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs: Final Report. (Contract number AG-3198-D-13-0045?). Alexandria, VA: Garasky, S., Mbwana, K., Chamberlain, A., Bowman, N., Corea, C., Ampaabeng, S., Patterson, L. & Mickish-Gross, C.
Section 4004 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-74) authorized a study to examine the feasibility of Tribal administration of Federal nutrition assistance programs, services, functions, and activities (or portions thereof), in lieu of administration by State agencies or other entities. This report is the result of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) research led by IMPAQ International, LLC, and its subcontractors.
This research examined the basic requirements of administering four major Federal nutrition assistance programs, as well as the services, functions, and activities associated with administration: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
The research focused on these programs because it was not feasible to adequately address all nutrition assistance programs in detail in the time available for the study. Nor was it possible to comprehensively investigate all administrative requirements of the four focal programs. Given these parameters, researchers engaged with representatives of the 566 Federally recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages to accomplish two goals: 1) to understand their interest in administering the nutrition programs, and 2) to learn about Tribes’ existing administrative resources, as well as the challenges and needs they anticipate based on their experience with other Federal programs. Tribes’ responses suggest policy changes that would be needed to facilitate Tribal administration of Federal nutrition assistance programs.
This research sought to address four primary objectives:
- Identify services, functions, and activities associated with administering nutrition assistance programs.
- Consult with Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) to determine the extent of their interest in administering these programs.
- Understand the readiness of ITOs to administer these programs based on the services, functions, and activities associated with administering all or part of particular programs.
- Identify statutory or regulatory changes, waivers, or special provisions that would be needed for ITOs to administer each nutrition program.