Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statements on the passage of their amendment to study food insecurity among Native Americans as part of the Minibus II appropriations package. The amendment would require the federal government to report on access to the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) for program enrollees who are elderly, disabled, homebound or otherwise challenged in physically accessing food assistance.
“For elderly and disabled Native Americans, extensive travel distances and limited mobility make it difficult, if not impossible, to access federal food assistance. Our amendment will direct the federal government to study ways to improve access to FDPIR for elderly and disabled tribal members in order to ensure we get food assistance to those who need it most,” said Cortez Masto.
“I am grateful for the Senate’s attention to addressing food access issues with the USDA’s FDPIR for elderly and disabled populations, especially Tribal members who often have a single, drive-up pickup location without additional options to participate,” said Lankford. “We can and should work to ensure all federal programs, especially food assistance, are designed to serve Americans that need help the most. Senator Cortez Masto and I are glad to improve data collection and program design to ensure the most vulnerable in our Tribal communities also have adequate access.”