Urge Congress to Act on Funding
Tribal Food Assistance Programs

An action alert from the Native Farm Bill Coalition and
National Association of Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (NAFDPIR)

With the current federal government partial shutdown, many essential federal nutrition assistance programs—like the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)—could run out of funding by the end of January, ending food assistance for 90,000-100,000 Tribal citizens. Action must be taken by Congress and the President to ensure that they do not lose access to the food provided by FDPIR.

Any lapse in funding or lack of access to food for FDPIR can have dire consequences that last months. During the October 2013 government shutdown, FDPIR experienced a horrific crisis: demand for FDPIR food increased overnight, while at the same time FDPIR lost its funding and was left without a federal government contingency plan in place. Some FDPIR sites were forced to close leaving food left to rot in locked warehouses with hungry people waiting on the outside. Even when funding was restored 16 days later, the ordering and food delivery cycles of FDPIR sites were so disrupted that it took nearly a year to recover, and many FDPIR program sites lacked access to fresh fruits and vegetables or adequate protein for 4 to 6 months after the shutdown. In some cases, meat-based proteins were entirely unavailable. We are facing a similar situation if prompt action is not taken to re-open the U.S. Department of Agriculture and quickly restore funding for FDPIR. For a program that serves a significant number of elders and families with young children, not being able to provide these basic items is unacceptable.

Contact your congressional representatives as the 116 th Congress begins to let them know that they must take quick action to fund FDPIR and all federal food assistance programs.