Indian Country Impacted by National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health
The White House released its National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on Sept. 27, 2022, ahead of the second-ever White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.
Specifically, the 44-page paper calls on Congress and federal agencies to increase existing efforts and to begin several new efforts that will promote tribal self-governance, increase tribal access to traditional foods, ensure nutrition education and training is culturally appropriate for tribal communities, develop regional food systems and update the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code. These priorities span six agencies as outlined below.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Expand the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) Self-Determination projects.
- Expand nutrition education services and programs for FDPIR.
- Increase access to traditional foods in feeding programs and school meals, including incorporating traditional foods in the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs.
- Increase training and other resources for school meal program operators who are incorporating traditional foods in school meals.
- Improve staff recruitment and training needed to serve tribal communities.
- Establish Regional Food Business Centers to support local food business growth in tribal communities.
- Leverage a new partnership between the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center and the University of North Dakota to better understand the diets of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- Expand the National Nutrient Database to include reports of the concentrations of nutrients in traditional foods.
- Ensure that the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americas is inclusive of people from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
- Measure equity within federal nutrition assistance programs, including tribes.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Update the FDA Food Code to address food donation recommendations.
U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)
- Establish Food Hubs for selected Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Schools and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) detention centers to source traditional foods.
- Enhance culturally based nutrition education programs, including food preparation training.
- Hire nutritionists to support BIE and BIA in achieving these priorities.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Expand the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) resource guide for tribal communities to increase knowledge of resources for promoting food security and food sovereignty.
- Update the Physical Activity Toolkit and reignite the Just Move It program designed for tribal communities.
- Implement and evaluate a National Produce Prescription Pilot program.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Expand the eligible uses of the Indian Community Development Block Grant dollars to include the development of food banks and pantries.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Integrate food security as a priority planning area in disaster-specific planning.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the authors or another member of Holland & Knight's Native American Law Team.
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