63-166     Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations



As an alternative to CalFresh, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorizes the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations for households living on Indian reservations or tribal members living off the reservation. The eligibility criteria are similar to that of CalFresh.  Households qualifying for the Food Distribution Program receive commodities, such as canned meat and vegetables on a monthly basis.

Households may not participate in the Food Distribution Program and CalFresh in the same month. They may transfer from one program to the other at any time, subject to timely notice requirements. Intake workers need to ask households living on Indian reservations if they are participating in the Food Distribution Program. The client’s statement is accepted unless questionable.  If the worker feels there is sufficient reason to verify the household’s statement, he/she may contact the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association (SCTCA) at 760-749- 5608.


Administrative Responsibilities

In San Diego County, the Food Distribution Program is operated by the SCTCA.  Each month the SCTCA notifies the CalFresh Specialist of all persons who received commodities from the Food Distribution Program. Each listed person is cleared to determine whether or not the listed person is a recipient of CalFresh benefits.



When a match occurs, an overissuance exists.  A determination will be made as to which program is responsible for collection of the overissuance.  When CalFresh benefits are granted to a household already participating in the Food Distribution Program, the overissuance must be collected on the CalFresh case.  The CalFresh Program Specialist will contact the worker’s supervisor (via a memo) to inform him/her of the overissuance and give instructions to complete a claim determination. An Inadvertent Household Error (IHE) claim must be established using normal claim determination procedures found in Section 63-450.