Indian country affected by national strategy on hunger, nutrition and health | Holland & Knight LLP
The White House released its National Hunger, Nutrition, and Health Strategy on September 27, 2022, ahead of the second White House Hunger, Nutrition, and Health Conference.
Specifically, the 44-page document calls on Congress and federal agencies to intensify existing efforts and launch several new efforts that will promote tribal self-reliance, increase tribal access to traditional foods, ensure that education and training are culturally appropriate for tribal communities, develop regional food systems, and update the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food code. These priorities relate to six agencies, as listed below.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Develop the self-determination projects of the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reserves (FDPIR).
- Develop nutrition education services and programs for FDPIR.
- Increase access to traditional foods in feeding programs and school meals, including incorporating traditional foods into the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs.
- Increase training and other resources for operators of school meals programs that incorporate country foods into school meals.
- Improve recruitment and training of personnel needed to serve tribal communities.
- Establish regional food business hubs to support the growth of local food businesses in tribal communities.
- Take advantage of a new partnership between the Grand Forks Center for Human Nutrition Research and the University of North Dakota to better understand the diets of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- Expand the National Nutrient Database to include reporting of nutrient levels in traditional foods.
- Ensure that the 2025-2030 Food Guidelines for the Americas include people from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.
- Measure equity within federal nutrition assistance programs, including tribes.
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Update the FDA Food Code to meet food donation recommendations.
US Department of the Interior (DOI)
- Establish food centers for selected Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) detention centers to source traditional foods.
- Improve culture-based nutrition education programs, including food preparation training.
- Hire nutritionists to support the BIE and BIA in achieving these priorities.
US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Develop the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) resource guide for tribal communities to increase knowledge of resources to promote food security and food sovereignty.
- Update the physical activity toolkit and relaunch the Just Move It program designed for tribal communities.
- Implement and evaluate a national product prescription pilot program.
US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Expand eligible uses of Indian Community Development Block Grant dollars to include the development of food banks and food pantries.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Integrate food security as a priority planning area into disaster-specific planning.