The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) at the University of Arkansas School of Law recently entered into a cooperative agreement with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS). This $500,000 award will support the development, piloting, and implementation of training and resources regarding safe handling and distribution through the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
“The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative is excited to work with USDA-FNS, the Native Food and Nutrition Resource Alliance (NFNRA), and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) to develop culturally appropriate produce safety curriculum and trainings for ITOs,” said Erin Parker, IFAI executive director.
According to the USDA-FNS, “The goal of this cooperative agreement is to provide hands-on learning opportunities for FDPIR program operators to support staff receiving produce through the USDA Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (DoD Fresh).”
More than 100 Intertribal Organizations (ITO) support Native households with FDPIR foods monthly, including traditional foods and fresh produce.
“The training series and ecosystems of resources IFAI develops will support ITOs and FDPIR warehouse staff in their important work by providing tailored resources that support compliance and produce safety, all through a Native lens,” Parker said.
Learn more about IFAI’s current food safety work at nativefoodsafety.org