USDA Foods from Farm to Plate: FDPIR Connection, January 2022

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U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Foods from Farm to Plate

FDPIR Connection, January 2022

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News & Notes

Updates from Virtual FDPIR Food Package Review Workgroup Strategic Planning Meeting

On November 16 and 17, 2021, members of the FDPIR Food Package Review Workgroup met virtually for their yearly strategic planning meeting. The meeting covered a variety of topics focused on enhancing the food package, including a nutrition analysis of the food package and discussions about adding/reformulating foods.

FNS announced to the workgroup that USDA was able to purchase frozen peas, carrots, and blueberries in one pound packages. These new products are scheduled to arrive in the national warehouses soon and are expected to be available for distribution in the spring.

FNS provided the workgroup an overview of participant take rates for FY 2020 and discussed the food package’s nutrition profile.

The workgroup discussed adding new foods to the food package and have been asked to get feedback from ITOs in their respective region to help prioritize the list of new items discussed during the meeting. Once workgroup members complete the prioritization process, FNS will work closely with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) who will conduct market research and help FNS determine what is possible. FNS will provide the workgroup with updates on this process throughout the year.

Lastly, the Oklahoma Tribal Engagement Partners (OKTEP), provided an overview of the FDPIR Nutrition Paraprofessional Training Project and how it was designed to meet the needs of staff from various distribution models.

Click this link to learn more about the FDPIR Food Package Review Workgroup!

Tribal Leaders Consultation Work Group Continues at USDA

On December 7, 2021, USDA consulting officials and staff joined Tribal leaders and representatives to consult on the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The meeting, held both in person and virtually, brought together over 40 attendees to consult on specific issues surrounding self-determination, information technology systems that support food distribution programs, nutrition education, and SNAP-Ed state consultations, among other important topics.  Deputy Undersecretary Stacy Dean of the Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services and Tribal leaders discussed their shared commitment to Indian Country and the importance of consultation.

638 Pilot Demonstration


Now Accepting FDPNE Grant Applications

Since 2008, FNS has been awarding funding for nutrition education projects through the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations Nutrition Education (FDPNE) grants. Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) and State Agencies that administer the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) are eligible to apply for funds to conduct projects that provide nutrition information and services to FDPIR participants.

FNS is pleased to announce that the request for applications (RFA) for the fiscal year 2022 FDPNE grant program was published on on December 6, 2021. 

Applications are due by March 01, 2022.  Applicants are encouraged to use the Microsoft Word application template provided in the 'related documents' tab on to prepare their application. To verify eligibility, applicants are required to submit a copy of their FNS-74 Federal-State Agreement with their application package or their application will not be considered. Technical assistance on the FDPNE application process is provided in the FDPNE webinar series

Examples of past grant award projects can be found on the FNS website.  If you have any questions, please reach out to your FNS Regional Office contacts or the Grants Officer listed in the RFA

Program Spotlight

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Succeeds with Virtual FDPNE Grant Project 

When the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) was awarded an FY20 Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPNE) Grant, they had originally planned to host a variety of community gatherings focused on nutrition education. Then the pandemic hit, and this plan was turned upside down. The tribe decided to take nutrition education virtual by focusing on their website, with an emphasis on putting the Cherokee language and culture at the forefront. 

One of the most important resources created is the “My Cherokee Plate” (pictured below) based on the USDA MyPlate nutrition guidelines. My Cherokee Plate uses the Cherokee language and includes local traditional foods, like berries and fish, as well as items commonly offered through the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).  In addition, on the website, all pictures feature local and indigenous people so that community members see themselves reflected in the nutrition education materials.  

Community leaders, elders, and the Tribal program, Kituwah Preservation and Education Program, which provides Cherokee language guidance were heavily involved in making the website and resources as culturally relevant as possible. For each Cherokee word on the website, you can hover your mouse on the word and hear its pronunciation. Because the local language and culture was infused into every aspect of this project, community members didn’t need any convincing to use the finished product as they already felt included. EBCI encourages other tribes to make their nutrition education resources a cultural experience, including their own tribal MyPlate, so that tribal members will be more motivated to use them. 


My Cherokee Plate

Policy Corner

Certification Chatter

In this edition of Certification Chatter, we will discuss verification of the dependent care deduction.  If you have a question that you’d like us to feature, or if you have any other certification questions, please reach out to your FNS Regional Office.

Question: Does the dependent care deduction require mandatory verification? 

Answer: No, the dependent care deduction only requires verification of documentation if it is questionable. This income deduction applies to the actual cost of dependent care paid to a non-household member for a child or other dependent when necessary for a household member to search for, accept, or continue employment or to attend training or pursue education that is preparatory to employment. Acceptable documentation would include canceled checks, money order receipts, or dated receipts provided to the household by the dependent care provider. If the amount of the dependent care fluctuates each week, the ITO/State agency must determine an average monthly amount based on the anticipated future need for dependent care and using past expenses as a guide. Source: FNS Handbook 501Section 3539D

How-To: Finding Policy Memoranda on

Did you know? The webpage is a great resource for locating policy memoranda! To locate policy memoranda on, first, locate your program of choice from the Programs tab at the top of the screen. This month, we will be locating an FDPIR policy memo.


After choosing Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations from the Programs tab at the top of, near the bottom of the FDPIR page, you should see the following selections for Policy:


The Policy Memos button will take you to the FDPIR Documents and Resources page, filtered by Policy Memos. From here, you can use key word searches for individual memos, use the filters to switch between resource type, or sort by newest/oldest, among other options.

Direct Link to FDPIR Policy Memos

Integrated Food Management System (IFMS) Work Group

At the request of Tribal Leaders Consultation Work Group (TLCWG), FNS initiated an IFMS stakeholder work group to provide input on the functionality of the system.  On September 14th, FNS sent out an email through our Regional Offices inviting IFMS and AIS users to participate in an IFMS stakeholder work group.  FNS received 19 volunteers, representing 17 Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) in five FNS Regions (Mountain Plains, Midwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Western).  The National Association of the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (NAFDPIR) Board also provided representatives.  Work group meetings began on October 27th, and were held on a weekly basis through December 1st.   

During meetings, work group members provided feedback on current IFMS functionality and made suggestions for areas of improvement.  Additional feedback was collected regarding the general business processes used to onboard FDPIR programs to IFMS from AIS.  Feedback was provided on a range of topics such as reports, household issuance, printing, household certification, inventory management, and search capabilities.  The work group also developed a survey to solicit feedback from the FDPIR community on their experiences with IFMS and their suggestions for areas of improvement.  A report out of the work group was shared with the TLCWG at the December 7th consultation.  FNS plans to begin an IFMS user group (open to all FDPIRs) in early 2022 to continue to solicit FDPIR stakeholder feedback on IFMS moving forward. 

Resource Roundup

Children Ages 5-11 Are Now Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine

All kids 5 and older are now eligible to get vaccinated. This is a safe and effective vaccine. It has undergone rigorous review, and now has been authorized by FDA and recommended by CDC for kids ages 5-11, after thorough testing for safety in thousands of children. We encourage USDA partner agencies to share the messaging below with program participants and parents.

The best way to protect your child against COVID-19, including the Delta variant, is to get them vaccinated.

  • Kids are being infected with COVID-19, and some are getting seriously ill or even dying. Even if your child doesn’t get severely ill, they could face long-term health consequences or pass the virus to others.
  • If your child gets COVID-19, the negative health effects can be serious and last months; but the most common side effect of the vaccine is a sore arm.
  • We know that many parents are trying to decide what is right for their child and their family. If you have questions about your child and the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to a pediatrician, school nurse, or another trusted health care provider.

Finding a vaccine is easy, and getting vaccinated is free.

  • The vaccine for kids is available in more than 20,000 sites across the country, including thousands of pediatricians and family doctors’ offices, pharmacies, community health centers, children’s hospitals, and community-based sites and schools.
  • Parents will be able to find available vaccines at or by contacting their health care provider or local pharmacy.

Vaccines help protect your child, your family, and your community.

  • 15 million adolescents have already been vaccinated.
  • The vaccines offer lasting protection to prevent your child from getting infected or, worse, having severe outcomes. The vaccine is more than 90% effective.
  • Getting vaccinated will help keep schools open, sports going, and help our kids maintain a more normal lifestyle, thanks to the protection provided by the vaccines.

Technology Synopsis

Browser Change for WBSCM Coming in 2022

The Web-based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) system will be transitioning to the Google Chrome browser for access to the WBSCM Portal in Spring 2022. Microsoft has announced that they will end support for Internet Explorer 11 for Windows, and Federal security guidelines require agencies to replace system components when support is no longer available.

All users are encouraged to begin using Chrome for activities in WBSCM. Please report any issues or challenges to the WBSCM Service Desk so they can be recorded and tracked for further analysis and testing to prepare for the official transition to Chrome.

For questions about WBSCM, please contact the WBSCM Service Desk or call (877) 927-2648.

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