The Farm Bill’s impact on Native American nutrition is multifaceted, ranging from direct support through nutrition assistance programs to broader effects on agricultural practices, food access, and cultural preservation.

What does nutrition look like in Indian Country, and why is it important?

The Farm Bill is important for Native American nutrition for several reasons, given its potential to directly and indirectly impact the availability, affordability, and accessibility of healthy foods in Native American communities. Here’s why the Farm Bill holds significance for Native American nutrition:

  1. Food Access and Security: Many Native American communities face higher rates of food insecurity and limited access to affordable, nutritious foods. The Farm Bill’s provisions related to nutrition assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), can help alleviate food insecurity by providing essential resources for purchasing food. These programs are crucial for ensuring that Native Americans have access to an adequate and balanced diet.
  2. Traditional Foods and Cultural Heritage: Native American communities often have strong connections to traditional foods that are deeply rooted in their cultural heritage. These foods are not only nutritionally valuable but also hold cultural and spiritual significance.
  3. Local Food Systems: The Farm Bill can influence local food systems, farmers’ markets, and community-supported agriculture initiatives. These programs can benefit Native American communities by increasing access to fresh, locally grown foods.
  4. Nutrition Education: Education is a critical piece to helping Native American communities learn about healthy eating habits, food preparation, and the benefits of consuming a diverse range of nutritious foods.
  5. Health and Wellness: Native American communities often experience higher rates of diet-related health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  6. Sovereignty and Self-Determination: The 2018 Farm Bill offered the opportunity for Tribes to utilize Tribal self-governance and self-determination through the FDPIR 638 pilot program. Tribes utilizing the pilot have had the chance to purchase locally grown often Tribally produce foods, and have reported increased access to fresh and traditional foods.

This tracker is a living resource, and IFAI will continue to update this tracker as new information arises.

S. 3982- A bill to amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to establish the Expanding Access to Local Foods Program, and for other purposesMarker Bills Regarding Nutrition

 

Senate

S.2537, Tribal Nutrition Program Administration Act of 2023

A bill to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to improve access to the food distribution program on Indian reservations, and for other purposes.

S. 2540, Tribal Nutrition Flexibility Act of 2023

A bill to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to allow for increased flexibility in the food distribution program on Indian reservations, and for other purposes.

S.2563, Tribal Access to Nutrition Assistance Act

A bill to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to allow for dual enrollment in the supplemental nutrition assistance program and the food distribution program on Indian reservations.

S.2757 TheTribal Food Sovereignty Act

A bill to amend the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act to allow the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into self-determination contracts with Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations to carry out supplemental nutritional assistance programs.

S.2354, the Improving Agriculture, Research, Cultivation, Timber and Indigenous Commodities

A bill to improve access to healthy foods, food processing, housing, forestry, agricultural research, and other agricultural programs, and Tribal self-determination relating to those programs, in the State of Alaska, and for other purposes.

S.2489-FDPIR Tribal Food Sovereignty Act of 2023

A bill to amend the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act to allow the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into self-determination contracts with Tribal organizations to carry out the food distribution program on Indian reservations, and for other purposes.

S.2912 – SNAP Tribal Food Sovereignty Act of 2023

The bill expands 638 to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

S. 3982- A bill to amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to establish the Expanding Access to Local Foods Program, and for other purposes

As of 03/27/2024 text has not been received for S.3982

 

House

H.R.5136 – STORE Act of 2023 

Updates TEFAP funding through FY 2028 – increases annual funding by $10 million with funding preference to Tribal communities. Requires USDA report on cold storage needs for emergency food organizations.

H.R.5970 – SNAP Tribal Food Sovereignty Act of 2023

The bill expands 638 to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).