New Report
Health School Meals for All
In order to overcome the educational, health, and economic impacts of the pandemic on children and families, and the financial challenges created by the pandemic for school nutrition departments, Healthy School Meals for All should remain the new normal for all schools across the country. This brief provides a case for why.

FRAC Chat

Jun 16, 2021
Heather Hartline-Grafton, Senior Advisor, SNAP, and Ellen Vollinger, Legal/Food Stamp Director

Part 1 of this series provided an overview of the Thrifty Food Plan and the three other food plans developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

The monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allotment is based on the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which was last updated in 2006. Despite that revision, research continues to show that SNAP recipients cannot afford an adequate diet with their SNAP allotment. The inadequacy of SNAP benefits severely limits the program’s ability to have even stronger positive impacts on economic security, food security, health, and well-being. SNAP benefits are inadequate, in part, because they are based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) impractical and flawed TFP.

Jun 16, 2021
Heather Hartline-Grafton, Senior Advisor, SNAP, and Ellen Vollinger, Legal/Food Stamp Director

This blog is the first in a two-part series on the Thrifty Food Plan. 

The monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allotment is based on the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which was last updated in 2006. Despite that revision, research continues to show that SNAP recipients cannot afford an adequate diet with their SNAP allotment. The inadequacy of SNAP benefits severely limits the program’s ability to have even stronger positive impacts on economic security, food security, health, and well-being. SNAP benefits are inadequate, in part, because they are based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) impractical and flawed TFP.

Jun 08, 2021
Heather Hartline-Grafton, Senior Advisor, SNAP, and Ellen Vollinger, Legal/Food Stamp Director

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been issuing a series of annual reports on the demographic and economic characteristics of households and individuals participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The latest report, covering fiscal year 2019, was released at the end of March and provides useful information for advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders. The data are particularly helpful in pushing back against harmful and damaging stereotypes about SNAP participants.

Recent Publications & Data

See More Resources
  • Report

    The School Nutrition Programs are vital tools for combating childhood hunger, improving children’s health, and supporting academic achievement. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of school meals in alleviating childhood food insecurity while also demonstrating the value of offering school meals at no charge to all students. In order to overcome the educational, health, and economic impacts of the pandemic on children and families, and the financial challenges created by the pandemic for school nutrition departments, Healthy School Meals for All should remain the new normal for all schools across the country. This brief provides a case for why.

    Read the Brief
  • Advocacy Tool

    During the pandemic, the Pandemic EBT program has been a vital nutrition resource for families whose children lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures. This gap extends to the summer as well. With the limited reach of the Summer Nutrition Programs, there is a need for a complementary program to provide EBT benefits during the summer. This storybook gives a brief background of Pandemic EBT and Summer EBT, what actions are needed to make a Summer EBT program permanent, and, as told in the words of people who benefit from federal nutrition assistance, why this is so important.

    Explore the Advocacy Tool
  • Report

    This report explores the impact of COVID-19 on access to meals and snacks when schools shuttered during the pandemic by analyzing March, April, and May 2020 meal service data for the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which includes the meals and snacks served through the Seamless Summer Option, the Summer Food Service Program, and the Afterschool Supper and Snack Programs through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, compared to participation in SBP and NSLP, and the Afterschool Supper and Snack Programs during the same months in 2019. For an in-depth look at April 2020, please see the Food Research & Action Center’s April 2020: A Snapshot of Participation During COVID-19.

    Read the report
  • Guide

    As communities continue to recover from COVID-19, school districts, out-of-school time program providers, and community partners have an important role to play in ensuring that all children have access to nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and afterschool snacks and suppers during the upcoming school year. While there are still many unknowns when it comes to the 2021–2022 school year — including what the school day will look like in every district — the recent extension of key nationwide waivers provides school districts and community sponsors much-needed consistency and time to plan for success. This resource provides information on options available for serving meals in the 2021–2022 school year as well as a checklist to guide program implementation. This will be updated as more information is available.

    Explore the Guide