Lame-Duck Congress Must Include Long Overdue Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) Improvements in End of the Year Spending Package
Congress must ensure that children in preschool, school-based, and out of school time settings have improved access to nutritious meals. It’s been 12 years since Congress reauthorized the child nutrition programs, and we cannot let more years slip by before passing legislation to strengthen and improve these programs. This is particularly true as schools, child care providers, children and families continue to grapple with health and economic aftershocks from the pandemic.
When Congress votes on its must-pass end of the year spending package during the Lame Duck, child nutrition program priorities must be included in that package.
Take Action Now: Now is the time to weigh in with your Senators to ensure that improving and strengthening child nutrition programs – including expanding Community Eligibility, adding a third meal for the Child and Adult Care Food Program, creating a permanent Summer EBT program, streamlining the Summer Food Service Program to serve children year-round, and modernizing WIC – are all included in an end of the year spending package.
- Call 202-224-3121 (Capitol Switchboard) and urge your Senators to weigh in with Senate Agriculture Committee leaders and Senate leadership to ensure that investments in our children’s health and nutrition remain top priorities for this Congress and are included in any must pass, end-of-the-year, legislation.
- Use the FRAC Action Network to urge your Senators to prioritize critical child nutrition investments in any end-of-the-year spending package.v
Get Vocal on Social
- Don’t leave children off your checklist! [Tag Senators], support a year-end package with #childnutrition programs that strengthen, improve, & expand #freeschoolmeals through #CEP, #afterschoolmeals, & #summermeals, and child care through #CACFP & #WIC.
- [Tag Senators], investments in our children’s health and nutrition need to remain top priorities for Congress, and need to be included in any must-pass end-of-the-year legislation. Hungry children can’t wait.
Click to Tweet:
- Tag/tell Senators 2 elevate #childnutrition priorities in year-end spending legis. Strengthen & expand #freeschoolmeals via #CEP, #afterschoolmeals, #summermeals via #SummerEBT, Addtl meal via #CACFP & modernizing #WIC. https://ctt.ec/KOe4A+
CACFP Sign-On Letter
Signed by over 900 national, state, and local organizations, FRAC’s sign-on letter urges Congressional leadership to aggressively pursue and reach a bipartisan agreement this calendar year on Child Nutrition Reauthorization and ensure that the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is updated and strengthened to reflect the program’s pressing needs.
To learn more and read the letter, visit our Resource Library.
CTC & EITC Sign-On Letter
Signed by over 500 national, state, and local organizations, FRAC’s sign-on letter urges Congressional leadership to reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in any end of the year tax package.
To learn more and read the letter, visit our Resource Library.
Congress Passes Bipartisan, Bicameral Keep Kids Fed Act
On Friday, June 24, 2022, Congress passed the Keep Kids Fed Act (S. 2089), a bipartisan and bicameral bill to help mitigate the impact of the loss of the child nutrition waivers due to expire next Thursday, June 30, 2022. This bill is an important first step that would increase reimbursements to schools and child care centers, support access to summer meals, and streamline access to healthy meals for children in family child care. Learn more in this blog post.
FRAC’s 2022 Federal Nutrition Program Priorities
As part of the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, FRAC compiled “Leave Behinds” or one-pagers outlining our legislative asks which you can share with your legislators. Explore the Leave Behinds: Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2022 Primer, Child Nutrition Reauthorization Priorities, Urgent Child Nutrition Priorities: Waivers, CEP, Summer EBT, Farm Bill Primer, and Farm Bill Priorities: Congress Must Protect and Strengthen SNAP and Other Anti-Hunger Programs.
The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and nearly 2,000 national, state, and local organizations from every state across the country, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, signed a letter urging Congress to swiftly extend the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) authority to issue nationwide waivers for the Child Nutrition Programs beyond the current waivers’ expiration date of June 30, 2022.
FRAC Applauds the House of Representatives for Passing Critical Child Nutrition and Anti-Poverty Provisions in the Build Back Better Act
Passing the Build Back Better Act is a critical next step in the right direction toward addressing the alarming rates of childhood hunger and poverty in this country. FRAC now urges the Senate to swiftly take up this legislation without delay. FRAC also urges Senate leaders to reject any amendments that could weaken the provisions that currently provide children with the nutrition they will need year-round as they overcome the educational, health, and economic impacts of the pandemic. Take action today.
Nearly 800 Organizations Urge Congressional Leaders to Pass Build Back Better (Reconciliation) Package
On September 29, nearly 800 national, state, and community-based organizations – from every state and the District of Columbia – joined together in a letter urging passage of the House Build Back Better Act. The letter emphatically states the need to protect the size, scope, and spending contained in the package, especially the child nutrition and anti-poverty provisions.
This is a critical time to act — a reduction in the package could severely reduce the effectiveness and impact of the anti-poverty provisions, including the child nutrition provisions.
The letter urges Congress to immediately pass the House Build Back Better Act. It also states that millions more low-income children will have access to nutritious school meals free of charge during the school year and summer EBT to purchase meals when school is out during the long summer break. In addition, children – across the country and in every community – depend on these nutritious meals now and as we emerge from the devastating impacts caused by the pandemic.
Take Action: Tag Your Members of Congress (Twitter handles here) and urge them to Support key anti-hunger provisions in the #BuildBackBetterAct.
On September 10, the House Education and Labor Committee completed its markup of the Build Back Better Act and advanced, by a vote of 28-22, nearly $35 billion in additional Child Nutrition Programs funding. These critical investments would ensure children have access to the nutrition they need year-round, and help families recover from the pandemic. As other House committees mark up their portion of the bill, deliberations on the overall reconciliation package continue with House and Senate Democratic leadership and Administration officials.
Take Action Now: Advocates are urged to contact their Members of Congress immediately to support the House Build Back Better Act, a historic investment in anti-poverty programs. It is critically important to reiterate the impact these provisions will have on children and families in the Member’s District/State. House and Senate champions must stay strong in protecting the overall package, especially anti-hunger and anti-poverty provisions. Members of Congress who are demanding a reduction in the size of the package must be held accountable and warned of the harmful consequences to the health and welfare of constituents back home. Learn more.
Budget Reconciliation 101
Curious about Budget Reconciliation? Unsure about the process or special rules to look out for? Explore this three-page report that explains what you need to know.
Food Research & Action Center’s Transition Recommendations: “This is the Time to Heal in America,” and It Begins With Addressing Hunger
FRAC’s transition recommendations provide a roadmap for the Biden-Harris Administration to address hunger in America. It sets forth the harms of food insecurity, summarizes the strengths of the federal nutrition programs, and concludes with high-priority recommendations for administrative and legislative asks that need to be taken to reduce hunger and poverty.
Sign Up for the FRAC Action Network!
Urge your Representatives to support and strengthen the Federal Nutrition Programs. Learn about the latest opportunities for action by signing up for the FRAC Action Network. Hungry people can’t wait.
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.
Recent Publications & DataSee More Resources
- Advocacy Tool
Signed by over 900 national, state, and local organizations, FRAC’s sign-on letter urges Congressional leadership to aggressively pursue and reach a bipartisan agreement this calendar year on Child Nutrition Reauthorization and ensure that the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is updated and strengthened to reflect the program’s pressing needs.Read the sign-on letter
- Advocacy Tool
Signed by over 500 national, state, and local organizations, FRAC’s sign-on letter urges Congressional leadership to reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in any end of the year tax package.Read the sign-on letter
- Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides organizations information on how federal nutrition programs can help grandfamilies and kinship families with low incomes access healthy meals, food, and resources to buy food.Read the fact sheet
- Advocacy Tool
In this sign-on letter, FRAC and other national anti-hunger organizations call on Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) to expand the Community Eligibility Provision in the upcoming Senate version of Child Nutrition Reauthorization.Read the sign-on letter
This past year, FRAC created a new Unit dedicated to providing leadership and direction for building out our network of national, state, and local nonprofit organizations, public agencies, corporations, schools, health-care providers, and labor organizations. FRAC’s Director of Network Engagement, Betsy Kerrigan, and FRAC’s Network and Events Coordinator Nomi Small, are spearheading this work. Betsy and Nomi will focus on managing FRAC-sponsored events and supporting the expansion of our network.
One of the most important ways we can honor our nation’s veterans is by ensuring they have access to the nutrition they need to thrive.
Millions of veterans face food insecurity. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service report, 11.1 percent of veterans between the ages of 18 to 64 lived in households reporting food insecurity. After controlling for demographic characteristics that normally predict food insecurity, such as age, educational attainment, and income, this report found that risk of food insecurity is 7.4 percent higher among veterans than nonveterans ages 18–64.
Disability is one of the strongest risk factors for food insecurity. In 2021, 28 percent of households that included an adult who was out of the labor force because of a disability were food insecure. This alarming rate is more than two and a half times the national rate of 10.2 percent.
To break the persistent link between disability and poverty — a root cause of hunger —, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) joined forces with the Disability Economic Justice Collaborative (DEJC).
One important opportunity to address poverty among people with disabilities — as well as older adults — is to strengthen the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program. SSI provides monthly cash support for millions of people who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or over with low incomes and limited resources.