FOOD ASSISTANCE IN DISASTERS AND SITUATIONS OF DISTRESS
Presentation Will Address: Regulations/Key Definitions State DA Planning Responsibilities of: Disaster Relief Organizations State Distributing Agency (SDA) Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) What Commodities to Use Commodity Replacements
Regulations 7 CFR Part 250.43: Requirements for assistance during Disasters 7 CFR Part 250.44: Requirements for assistance in Situations of Distress
Disaster Means: a) any natural catastrophe, or regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the U.S., which the President determines causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance; or b) any other occasion or instance in which the President determines Federal assistance is needed.
Situations of Distress Means: a) a natural catastrophe not declared by the President to be a disaster, but which, in the judgment of the DA, warrants the use of USDA commodities for congregate feeding; and b) any other situation not declared by the President to be a disaster, but which, in the judgment of FNS, warrants the use of USDA commodities for congregate feeding or household distribution.
Other Definitions Disaster organizations means: organizations authorized by appropriate Federal or State officials to assist disaster victims. Disaster victims means: persons who, because of acts of God or manmade disasters, are in need of food assistance, whether or not they are victims of a major disaster or emergency.
SDA Planning State Emergency Operations Center Contact List – Names & Numbers Commodity Inventory Assessment Rapid Food Response States (CA, CO, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA)
Types of Food Operations Congregate Feeding usually takes place in: Shelter locations, such as schools, churches, and community centers; Mobile kitchens; Soup kitchens. Household Distribution is usually allowed when: Commercial channels of food distribution are disrupted; thus making it impractical to use food stamps; and Justification can be provided, such as, the need for food assistance in remote or isolated communities.
Disaster Food Assistance (Presidential Declaration) Congregate Meal Service – Serving meals to victims in a mass setting. Disaster Relief Organizations must submit an application to the SDA; SDA reviews and approves applications submitted by disaster relief organizations and informs appropriate Food and Nutrition Service Regional Office (FNSRO) within 24 hours;
Disaster Food Assistance (Presidential Declaration) Congregate Meal Service (continued) SDA determines duration of food assistance and releases inventories as available; FNSHQ arranges additional food as requested.
Disaster Food Assistance (Presidential Declaration) Household Distribution – distribution of USDAs donated foods for home preparation and consumption. Disaster organizations must submit application to the SDA; SDA determines the appropriateness of the request to distribute donated foods to households; SDA submits request for approval for such distribution to FNSHQ (via FNSRO);
Disaster Food Assistance (Presidential Declaration) Household Distribution (continued) FNSHQ must approve; FNSHQ determines duration of donations.
Situations of Distress (No Presidential Declaration) Congregate Meal Service Relief organization must submit an application to the SDA. In situations of distress, SDA reviews and approves applications submitted by relief organizations and informs appropriate FNSRO with 24 hours.
Situations of Distress (No Presidential Declaration) Congregate Meal Service (continued) SDA determines duration of food assistance up to 30 days with notification to FNSRO. FNSHQ approves extension beyond 30 days. FNSHQ will replace foods if funding is available (replacement not guaranteed).
Situations of Distress (No Presidential Declaration) Household Distribution Organizations must submit applications to the SDA. SDA determines the appropriateness of the request to distribute donated foods to households. SDA submits request for approval for such distributions to FNSHQ (via FNSRO).
Situations of Distress (No Presidential Declaration) Household Distribution (continued) FNSHQ must approve. FNSHQ determines duration of donations.
Who May Be Served Congregate Meals in a Disaster or Situation of Distress? Disaster Victims. Once meal service has been set up to serve disaster victims, disaster relief workers (paid and volunteer) may receive congregate meals if they: -Have reasonable need to be in area; and -Commercial food channels disrupted; or -Unreasonable or inconvenient to leave duties to obtain food
What Commodities Can be Used? Following approval, SDA may release USDA donated foods to eligible disaster Relief agencies from: State inventories Stocks maintained in schools, and Other recipient agencies, such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
What Commodities Can Be Used? (continued) For congregate feeding, recommend using school commodities first, if available: Congregate feeding sites prefer school commodities – large sizes easier to handle. Household commodities are more difficult to replace.
Commodity Replacements If SDA wants commodities replaced: SDA must request replacement in writing to FNSRO within 30 days of termination of disaster; FNSRO will submit request to FNS Headquarters; Recommend SDA notify FNSRO within 24 hours after approval of disaster application if replacements will be requested; FNSRO will then notify FNS Headquarters who will set aside funds.
Single Inventory Issue Commodities will be replaced with appropriate documentation from SDA. Recipient Agencies using single inventory must show that the same type(s) of food used for disaster feeding were received from USDA within past year.
Operational Costs USDA will reimburse state costs to transport commodities between states. State must absorb costs to transport commodities within its borders. If further processed items are used, USDA will reimburse ONLY the value of the raw commodity in the item.
Summary Report SDA must submit a summary report to FNSHQ via FNSRO within 45 days following termination of the disaster or situation of distress assistance. Form SF-292, Report of Coupon Issuance and Commodity Distribution for Disaster relief should be used.
Lets Recap DisastersSituations of Distress Requires a Presidential No Presidential Declaration Declaration Guaranteed commodity Commodities replaced Replacement if funds are available State DA determines For natural event, State duration of food service DA determines duration of food service up to 30 days. Over 30 days, or if not natural event, FNSHQ must approve