Congressional Outlook

With the September 30 deadline for fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations bills quickly approaching, Congressional and White House leaders are currently negotiating a continuing resolution (CR) that would carry programs at FY 2020 funding levels until sometime after the November elections (duration of the CR remains a key negotiation point). In addition to passing a CR before Congress adjourns, Congress could also take up another COVID-19 relief bill.

On September 10, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) failed to advance an inadequate, “skinny” COVID relief bill. The next two weeks are critical to passing a CR in addition to a real, comprehensive pandemic relief bill that directly supports families and individuals who are in need right now. If Congress fails to pass a COVID relief bill before adjourning at the end of the month, it is unlikely that a relief bill will occur until after Election Day—and very likely until January. Every day that passes, more families slip closer to economic disaster. Take action and urge your Members of Congress to quickly pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill that addresses the needs of families and individuals, including a boost to SNAP benefits and an extension of Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) through 2021.

Want to help fight hunger during the pandemic? Check out our COVID-19 Actions page.

Looking for the latest information from FRAC on the coronavirus? Our COVID-19 page has all the updates.

Action: Contact your Representatives and Senators and urge them to support SNAP in any future COVID-19 relief packages by:

  1. boosting SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent;
  2. increasing the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30;
  3. and suspending all SNAP administrative rules that would terminate or weaken benefits.
Check out FRAC’s action alert for more information.

Past action: Senators called
Urge Passage of H.R. 6201 – Families First Coronavirus Response Act

As the coronavirus pandemic grips the nation, the House is poised to take a very positive step in responding to the needs of households, especially low-income and vulnerable individuals and families. This is a public health and economic crisis that requires swift action.

Act Today! Call your Senators TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to quickly pass H.R. 6201 – Families First Coronavirus Response Act. All Senators need to hear from their constituents that we need these protections NOW to take a critically important first step toward addressing this public health and economic crisis. Families and workers across the country need access to vital programs and basic needs. The bill protects people most in need, and so protects all of us.

FRAC COVID-19 Updates

Take Action: Trump administration wants to cut the Power of SNAP for Hungry Households

Tell the administration that USDA’s proposed rule on SNAP Standardization of State Heating and Cooling Standard Utility Allowances, which would cut program benefits by a total of $4.5 billion over five years, would cause 19 percent of SNAP households to get lower SNAP monthly benefits, and exacerbate the struggles many low-income people have paying for costs of both food and utilities.

Comment here

Check Out the Bills We’re Supporting

As Congress begins the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) process, find information on the current child nutrition bills, as well as others, on the Bills We’re Supporting page. And look for the latest CNR news and resources on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization page.

Proposed Changes to SNAP Could Leave Nearly 1 Million Children Without Access to Free School Meals

A surprise release of data that the USDA should have disclosed earlier underscores the deep harm of its proposed rule to limit access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): eliminating food assistance for 3.1 million people and jeopardizing free school meals for nearly 1 million children.

Find out more

President Signs Farm Bill

President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law on December 20. Read FRAC’s analysis. The final Farm Bill conference report was filed the evening of Monday, December 10. On December 11, the Senate passed the conference report, 87-13. The House passed the bill on December 12 by a vote of 369-47. Check out FRAC’s statement.

Find out more

10 Facts Every Candidate Should Know About Hunger

With the upcoming presidential election, FRAC’s one-stop-shop for anti-hunger advocates provides the facts and tools that are needed to ensure every candidate knows about the extent of hunger in America and the solutions that exist to solve it.

Learn More

Recent Publications & Data

See More Resources

FRAC Chat

Sep 17, 2020
Ellen Vollinger

More than 700,000 Pennsylvanians who were left out of extra SNAP “emergency  allotments” when USDA denied Pennsylvania’s request for authority to issue them to all SNAP households may be able to get them pursuant to a federal court order issued on September 11. The case Gilliam v. USDA was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Sep 14, 2020
Kelsey Boone and Etienne Melcher Philbin

Millions of families have lost jobs and wages due to the economic crisis created by COVID-19. In response, Congress has taken a number of steps to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on hunger, unemployment, and housing. These efforts — some of which already have expired or will expire on September 30 — remain critical for struggling families across the country. One such effort is the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, created by Congress through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It provides an EBT card with the value of free school breakfast and lunch for the days that families lost access to free and reduced-price school meals due to school closures. Without Congressional action, P-EBT will end on September 30.

Sep 14, 2020
FRAC

In this #FRACTurns50 blog, FRAC’s Founding Executive Director, Ron Pollack, shares the organization’s critical role in the expansion of the school meals programs. This is the third installment of a three-part blog series on FRAC’s early role in strengthening the federal nutrition programs.

When FRAC began its operations in 1970, the National School Lunch Program had been in existence for almost a quarter of a century. Enacted in 1946, the program was designed for two purposes: safeguarding the health and well-being of our nation’s children, and encouraging the consumption of agricultural commodities, especially those in surplus so that domestically grown food would yield better prices for U.S. farmers.