Food Distribution

Click here to visit the food distribution calendar.

The Cherokee Nation Food Distribution Program is dedicated to distributing nutritious foods to eligible Tribal households residing within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation and fall within USDA regulations. This program is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Cherokee Nation. USDA has developed a well balanced food package for each participating household member. The amount of food a household is eligible to receive is determined by the number of household members that are certified eligible for services. 

USDA approved foods such as canned fruits, canned vegetables, 100% fruit juices, canned and frozen meats, cheese, canned and dry milk, pastas, cereals, flour, cornmeal, vegetable oil and/or butter are distributed monthly according to household size. Along with these packaged items, households have a choice of different types of fresh produce as apples, oranges, grapefruit, carrots, onions, and potatoes. 

Services are provided through seven food distribution centers and four “tractor/trailer tailgate” sites. The food distribution centers operate in a grocery store environment that allows participants to shop in a comfortable and familiar setting. 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 

• At least one household member must prove membership in a federally recognized tribe. 

• Household must reside within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation and fall within USDA regulations. 

• Household income cannot exceed income eligibility standards developed by USDA. 

• Households cannot participate in the Food Distribution Program and the Supplemental 

Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly the Food Stamp Program in the same month. 

• Households cannot participate in more than one Food Distribution Program in the same month. 

DOCUMENTS NEEDED 

Tribal membership card/and or CDIB card 

- For at least one household member. 

Residential Verification 

- A current utility bill, phone bill, or rent receipt with applicants name and residential address. 

We are looking for verification of physical address to verify you live within the Cherokee Nation jurisdictional boundaries. Please remember a mailing address with a P.O. Box does not verify your physical address. 

Verification of income 

- A full month’s income must be verified for all household members over the age of 18. Copies of pension, government checks, pay stubs, or employer’s statement of GROSS earnings. 

Household members 18 years and older with no income must provide unemployment verification. Self-employed individuals must submit their most recent tax forms. 

Verification of Identity 

- All household members must provide acceptable documentary evidence such as a driver’s license, work or school I.D., voter registration card, birth certificate, I.D. for health benefits or other programs or other social services. 

Households are certified based on income eligibility standards set by USDA. Households have the right to submit an application the same day they contact the food distribution office. Households do not have to be interviewed before they turn in their application but must be interviewed by the certifying staff for eligibility determination before receiving food benefits. If a household disagrees with any action taken, the household or their representative is entitled to request a fair hearing. This request can be in written form or the household can make a verbal request. 

General contact: 1-800-865-4462 

For site locations, see Documents, Food Distribution Centers. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) 

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). 

For any other information dealing with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues, persons should either contact the USDA SNAP Hotline Number at (800) 221-5689, which is also in Spanish or call the State Information/Hotline Numbers (click the link for a listing of hotline numbers by State); found online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/contact_info/hotlines.htm

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer