Mayor Vincent C. Gray

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September 30, 2011

D.C. Department of Health Ensures Continuance of Commodity Supplemental Food Program 

No Break in Service Will Occur for CSFP Participants

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(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray assured residents that the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) -- which provides crucial food, nutrition education and other related services to over 6,000 members -- will not end on September 30, despite public reports to the contrary. The Greater Washington Urban League will continue to run the program until further notice.

“The District has provided this important service to some of our neediest residents for three decades,” said Mayor Gray. “Pending the outcome of the federal budget negotiations, changes may be made in the program in the coming months, including transitioning these vital services to a new community-based provider. My administration is committed to ensuring that there is no gap in service to those District residents who rely on the program, and we will keep all program participants informed as changes occur.”

The DC Department of Health (DOH), which monitors the program, understands the important role this program plays in providing many of our residents with the key provisions they need. As a result, DOH has exercised a partial option to extend the services of the current provider through the end of this calendar year and is working with another well-qualified provider to transition current clientele at the end of the year. This will ultimately mean that there will be no break in service and that participants currently enrolled in the program will continue to receive food and other essential supplies as scheduled.

DOH’s updated transition plan will enable the new grantee to run the program in a more cost-effective manner, because they already have the infrastructure in place to sustain and operate the program. Additionally, the new grantee will be able to offer the same services, as well as several other enhanced programmatic services for those enrolled in CSFP.

CSFP provides federal commodity food and nutrition-education services to pregnant and post-partum women, children under the age of six (exclusive of WIC recipients) and seniors over the age of 60. In DC, about 93 percent of CSFP participants are seniors. The federal government pays the full cost of food and provides a grant allocation to the District to help cover administrative expenses.