USDA Guidelines on Using Existing Authority to Implement SFSP and SSO Meal DeliveryQ&As from the USDA on the logistics of delivering meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) while using existing authority.
Five states had Healthy School Meals for All policies in place during the 2022-2023 school year and the Food Research & Action Center’s (FRAC) new report, The State of Healthy School Meals for All: California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Vermont Lead the Way, highlights the positive impact they had on students and school nutrition departments.
School meals have always played an important role in reducing childhood hunger, supporting good nutrition, and ensuring that students can get the most out of their school day. For more than two school years during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were able to offer meals to all students at no charge through the pandemic-related child nutrition waivers offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This served as a trial run for nationwide Healthy School Meals for All, and it was a resounding success.
The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) recently named Salaam Bhatti as its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) director. In this position, Salaam wields his expertise on SNAP, previous experience as public benefits attorney and deputy director of the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC), and lived experience in poverty to advance policies to protect and strengthen SNAP, including advocating for a strong Farm Bill that strengthens benefit adequacy and equitable access to the program.
In this video, FRAC’s Chief Program Officer, Kelly Horton joins Salaam in a conversation on how his previous experiences advocating for SNAP informs his work, FRAC’s SNAP goals in protecting and strengthening SNAP benefit adequacy and equitable access to the program, and how advocates can get involved.
The permanent, nationwide Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer EBT) Program is set to begin in summer 2024. Thirty-five states, Washington, D.C. , all five territories, and four Inter-Tribal Organizations (ITOs) have committed to operating the program, providing families with a $120 grocery benefit for each child in the household eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services (USDA FNS) has issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that details how states must implement and operate the program. Much of the language in this rule reflects what USDA FNS has released in prior guidance documents, including their latest Questions and Answers document. Because it is an interim final rule, there is an opportunity to submit comments on the rule, which are due on or before April 29, 2024.
Recent Publications & DataSee More Resources
- Fact Sheet
Congress must adhere to bipartisan and public support to preserve consumer choice for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the FY 2024 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, the upcoming Farm Bill, and any other legislative vehicles. Learn more about preserving consumer choice in SNAP in FRAC’s latest-one pager.Read the fact sheet
- ReportThe State of Healthy School Meals for All: California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Vermont Lead the Way
School lunch participation in the five states that implemented Healthy School Meals for All policies during the 2022–2023 school year increased compared to prepandemic participation levels. Learn more in FRAC’s latest report, The State of Healthy School Meals for All: California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Vermont Lead the Way.Read the report
- Fact Sheet
The bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to update the Thrifty Food Plan. The resulting update in 2021 was the first in the plan’s history and led to a necessary and long overdue increase in SNAP benefits. Learn why the Thrifty Food Plan adjustment should be protected from efforts to eliminate or weaken it in the 2024 Farm Bill and in other legislation in FRAC’s new one-pager, Continuing the Thrifty Food Plan Adjustment Is Good for Everyone.Read the fact sheet
FRAC’s Food Fuels Futures: Expanded SNAP Eligibility Reduces Hunger Among College Students research brief — informed by interviews with college students — sets forth reasons why SNAP student eligibility expansions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were so vital to college students and why decision-makers should build on these lessons and eliminate the “work-to-eat rule” so that more college students can focus on learning rather than being distracted by hunger.Read the research brief