Advocate for FDPIR 638 Pilot Program Funding

Section 4003(b) of the 2018 Farm Bill authorizes an additional $5 million for tribal organizations to enter into 638 self-determination contracts to procure foods for FDPIR packages – a major victory for Indian Country. The provision was first introduced by Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (“SCIA”) Chairman John Hoeven (R-ND) and Vice Chairman Tom Udall (D-NM) in S. 2804, Cultivating Resources, Opportunity, Prosperity, and Sustainability (“CROPS”) for Indian Country Act, which allows tribal governments to purchase culturally relevant foods directly from tribal farmers, ranchers and producers thus stimulating a tribal food economy.

Further Advocacy Still Needed
Although $5 million for the FDPIR 638 Pilot Program was authorized, that money must still be appropriated. Tribal governments must continue advocating to their representatives, members of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States, SCIA, the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee to include an additional $5 million, if not more, in the FY2020 USDA appropriations package. Until these funds are appropriated, the USDA will not be able to implement the pilot program and Section 4003(b) will be meaningless.

To make our voices heard, we encourage you to reach out to members of the House and Senate appropriations committees and advocate for this funding. Below are four different template letters you can use:

  1. Letter to House Appropriations Committee Leadership (Deadline for submissions is April 4, 2019. Directions for submission can be found here.)
  2. Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Leadership 
  3. Letter to Senator/Representative encouraging their outreach to their respective House/Senate Appropriations Committee
  4. Letter from the Senator/Representative to their respective House/Senate Appropriations Committee