Quote of the Week
"Anybody who suggests that we should cut these summer meal programs hasn’t been to one."
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Masslive.com, July 18, 2016
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Final Rules
USDA Announces Additional Efforts to Make School Environments Healthier – USDA, July 21, 2016
The Obama Administration announced four final rules implementing provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act; the rules are a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. The rules include the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) final rule, which allows schools with high poverty rates to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. Currently, more than 18,000 schools in high-poverty areas participate in CEP, making it possible for 8.5 million students to receive free school meals. The rules also include the Smart Snacks in School final rule, Local School Wellness Policy final rule, and Administrative Review final rule.
USDA finalizes rules for Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act – Agri-Pulse, July 21, 2016
The four final rules implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced are little changed from the interim regulations proposed in 2013, and USDA officials say the rules will improve access to healthy food and insure consistent standards for food marketed and served to students. In announcing the rules, USDA also noted the improvements brought about under HHFKA. “[R]esearch shows that under the updated standards, nearly 80 percent of schools offer two or more vegetables at lunch and consumption has increased by more than 16 percent,” USDA said. “This is especially crucial for the approximately 15.3 million American children that live in food-insecure households, many of whom rely on school meals as a consistent source of nutritious food.”
Why Congressman Jim McGovern thinks these federally-funded summer food programs must be saved – Masslive.com, July 18, 2016
During his annual Summer Food Rocks Tour, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) urged young people to contact their state representatives and Members of Congress with their messages of support for the summer meal program. The program is up for reauthorization this year, and McGovern warned that program funding is in danger of being reduced. “Anybody who suggests that we should cut these summer meal programs hasn’t been to one,” said McGovern.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Advocates Fear School Food Cuts – KTSA, July, 2016
A current bill in Congress is proposing tightening eligibility rules for the Community Eligibility Provision. “Eight hundred and two [Texas] schools that are currently participating would not meet the threshold under the new bill,” said Jessie Hewins of the Food Research & Action Center. “You would see a significant number of schools having to return to collecting…school meal applications and the added administrative burden.” The change is estimated to affect four million students in the state.
Editorial: State’s ranking still hard to chew – Topeka Capital-Journal, July 21, 2016
The Food Research & Action Center reports that Kansas ranks 48th among states and the District of Columbia in terms of summer meal participation – only 8.2 percent of Kansas children from low-income families received free summer meals last July. The problem in Kansas involves getting meals to rural children. In 16 states, some state funding supplements the federal summer meal funding, said Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at FRAC. Others have provided modest amounts of funding to local organizations, and some states have passed laws requiring school districts to provide summer meal programs. Last year, 35 of Kansas’ 105 sparsely populated counties had no meal sites; this year, only 23 of those counties do not have sites.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
More Syracuse Families can Qualify for Federal Food Assistance Under New Guidelines – WAER, July 14, 2016
The eligibility threshold for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation [in New York] was raised to 150 percent of the federal poverty level. “[B]y increasing the limit, more people would be eligible,” said Amalia Swan, outreach director for the Food Bank of Central New York. Swan also said that only 16–20 percent of eligible seniors in Central New York receive benefits. “Pride is a big issue,” she said. “Individuals not understanding that just like their Social Security benefits, this is an entitlement for them.” Swan also noted SNAP benefits generate economic activity in the community.
"Work with states, localities, and nonprofits to expand and improve participation in federal nutrition programs" is one of the Eight Essential Strategies to End Hunger in America outlined in FRAC's Plan of Action to End Hunger in America. Find out more...
! 7�'([l – The New York Times, July 18, 2016
One in four L.G.B.T. adults could not afford to feed themselves or their families at least once in the past year, compared to one in six heterosexual adults, according to a study titled, “Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the L.G.B.T. Community,” from the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law. The study analyzed data from four major national surveys representing 20,000 people in the L.G.B.T. community.
L.G.B.T Community Food Insecurity
A Hunger Crisis in the L.G.B.T. Community – Montgomery Advertiser, July 19, 2016
According to FRAC, 45 percent of Americans say that hunger in the U.S. is a “serious problem,” a majority believe that children are going hungry when school is out, and many feel hunger is now more of a problem than before the recession. Also, two out of five Americans experienced hunger in the past year, or know someone who has. This editorial also encourages parents to make sure their children participate in the National School Lunch Program.