Food Distribution Program

A component of the Child Nutrition Programs

What is the FDP?

The Food Distribution Program (FDP) is a federally-funded, state-administered program. Eligible institutions work with a network of warehouses to distribute USDA Foods, which were previously known as commodities, throughout the state to receive this food. Recipient agencies (RAs) must submit claims for NSLP for one school year to be eligible. The FNS Food Distribution Programs’ mission is to strengthen the Nation’s nutrition safety net by providing food and nutrition assistance to school children and families; and support American agriculture by distributing high quality, 100% American-grown USDA Foods. Food used in this program can account for up to 20% of the participating sponsors' food budget.

How Do I Receive These Foods?

There are two ways that sponsors receive USDA Foods:

  1. Food can be direct delivered by the RA's state contracted warehouse
  2. Bulk food items can be directed diverted to a processor to be made into a product that is ready to eat.

Weekly allocations for the food received in this program are based on the sponsor's entitlement dollars and pre-order survey.

What is the Pre-Order Survey?

The Pre-Order Survey determines the amount of food allocated to participating sponsors for the next Program Year. The Pre-Order Survey opens in the CNPweb late January and closes mid-March.

Where is Inventory Kept?

Direct Delivered products are held at state contracted warehouses across the state and bulk product remains at the processor. An order must be placed in order to receive these items . Sponsors that leave products in these warehouses beyond the expire dates are subject to excess storage fees.

How Do I Place an Order?

Sponsors that participate in the program place their own orders via the CNPweb for direct delivered items. These orders must be placed by 4 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the delivery period week.Direct diverted products are ordered through the RA's processors or distributors.


Cheryl Moore

Food Distribution Program Specialist

Visit the IDOE FDP webpage.