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Child Nutrition

More on Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Early Childhood

S. 2501 – Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act of 2019

Take action: Sign on to endorse the bill, and urge your Senators to cosponsor.

What it does:

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced on September 18, 2019.

S. 2358 – Wise Investment in Children Act of 2019 (WIC Act)

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Permits states to extend child eligibility for WIC to age six or the beginning of kindergarten and postpartum women’s eligibility to two years.
  • Extends infant certification periods to two years.

Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced on July 31, 2019.

H.R. 3117 – Community Access, Resources, and Education for Families Act (CARE for Families Act)

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

Creates a grant program for local WIC agencies and clinics for community partnership work aimed at:

  • Increasing the involvement of WIC staff in the community.
  • Improving health outcomes by better connecting WIC to other community health providers, like OB/GYNS, advance practice nurses, and pediatricians.
  • Facilitating referrals between WIC and health care providers.
  • Improving the coordination, quality, and cost effectiveness of health care services.

Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC), Lauren Underwood (D-IL), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced on July 5, 2019.

School-Based

S. 2760/H.R. 6536 – CARE for Kids Act

Take action: Sign on to endorse the bill, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Helps support children who are being raised by grandparents or relatives other than their parents by ensuring automatic access to free school meals.
  • See FRAC’s fact sheet: Support the CARE for Kids Act of 2019.

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced on November 5, 2019. Reps. Horn (D-OK) and Bacon (R-NE) introduced on April 17, 2020.

S. 2609 / H.R. 4684 – Universal School Meals Program Act

Take action: Sign on to FRAC’s petition, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Free school breakfast, school lunch, and afterschool supper for all children.
  • Increases school breakfast and school lunch reimbursements rates to match the recommended rates of the USDA School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study – April 2019.
  • No more embarrassing practices directed toward students with unpaid school meal fees and funding to schools for all delinquent school meal debt.
  • A 30-cent reimbursement for schools that procure local foods to support providing healthy, local food options to our children.
  • Free summer meals to all children and Summer EBT to all low-income children.
  • Free meals to all children in child care.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced on October 15 (House) and October 16 (Senate), 2019.

S. 1907 / H.R. 3366 – No Shame at School Act

Take Action: Sign on to endorse the bill to endorse the bill, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Prohibits schools from taking any action that stigmatizes or shames students who cannot pay their meal fees.
  • Requires school districts to certify students who are categorically eligible (such as students who are homeless or in foster care) for free school meals and take steps to determine if children whose households are accruing school meal debt are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Allows school districts to claim free and reduced-price school meals retroactively for students who are certified to receive them during the school year.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced on June 19, 2019.

 S. 1119 /H.R. 2311 –  Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2019

Take action: Sign on to endorse the bill, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Prohibit schools from taking action that stigmatizes or shames students who cannot pay their school meal fees.
  • Requires that all communication related to unpaid school meal fees be directed to the child’s parent or guardian.
  • Includes language that encourages schools to adopt best practices that ensure eligible students have access to free and reduced-price school meals and increase efforts to reduce unpaid school meal fees.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced on April 10, 2019, and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) introduced on April 12, 2019.

S. 2692 / H.R. 5283 – School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students (MEALS) Act of 2019

Take action: Sign on to endorse the bill, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Fund direct certification improvements through USDA grants and technical assistance;
  • Expedite the process through which states must implement necessary direct certification improvements; and
  • Eliminate the deadline for school districts to elect to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision, and provide additional time to gather the data necessary to determine eligibility.

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced on October 24, 2019, and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduced on December 3, 2019.

H.R. 5308 – Expanding Access to School Meals Act of 2019

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Increases eligibility for free school meals to 200 percent of the poverty line and eliminates reduced-price school meals.
  • Increases the community eligibility multiplier from 1.6 to 1.8 which will allow more high poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students.
  • Allows all states to use Medicaid and CHIP to directly certify children (whose household income is 200 percent of poverty) for free school meals.
  • Provides retroactive free reimbursement for meals served to children who are certified for free school meals later in the school year.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) introduced on December 5, 2019.

S. 2752 – School Hunger Elimination Act

 Take action: Sign on to endorse the bill, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Helps support School Nutrition Programs, including increasing the number of low-income children who are directly certified to receive free school meals and bolstering the Community Eligibility Provision.
  • See FRAC’s fact sheet about Support the School Hunger Elimination Act of 2019.

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the bill on October 30, 2019.

Out-of-School Time

S. 1908 / H.R. 2818 – Summer Meals Act of 2019

Take action: Sign on to endorse the bill, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Improves the area eligibility test by lowering it from 50 percent to 40 percent to allow more low-income communities to provide summer meals.
  • Allows nonprofit and local government agencies to provide meals year-round through the Summer Food Service Program.
  • Allows all sites to serve three meals.
  • Provides grant funding to support efforts to reach underserved areas.
  • S. 1908 includes an additional provision to support meal service in disaster situations.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Reps. Don Young (R-AK), Rick Larsen (D-WA) introduced on June 19, 2019.

S. 1941 / H.R. 3378 – Stop Child Summer Hunger Act

Take action: Sign on to FRAC’s petition, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Provides families who have children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals with an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card to help them obtain nutrition during the summer.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) introduced on June 20, 2019.

SNAP

Find more on SNAP.

Senate Bill – Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2020

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Improve SNAP benefit adequacy
  • It is similar to H.R. 1368, a bill by Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) that has 115 House cosponsors.

Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Senate Bill in April, 2020.

H.R. 1368 – Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2019

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Increases benefits for all SNAP participants by basing benefits on the Low Cost Meal Plan instead of the Thrifty Food Plan.
  • Increases SNAP benefits for families with children with high shelter costs by removing the cap on the SNAP shelter deduction.
  • Raises the SNAP monthly minimum benefit to $25.
  • Authorizes a SNAP Standard Excess Medical Deduction for persons who are elderly or have disabilities (with a minimum standard of $140).

Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) introduced the House Bill on February 26, 2019.

H.R. 2809  – Improving Access to Nutrition Act of 2019

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Lifts SNAP’s arbitrary three-month time limit and ensure that all people have access to nutrition assistance and stay healthy while seeking full-time work.
  • Note: Under current law, certain adults aged 18-49 without dependents are subject to an arbitrary three-month time limit of SNAP benefits unless they document 80 work hours a month.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced on May 16, 2019.

College Hunger

H.R. 4297 – Enhance Access To SNAP Act (Eats Act) of 2019

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Helps level SNAP access for low-income college students.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-DA) introduced on September 12, 2019.

S. 2110/H.R. 3718 – Closing the College Hunger Gap Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Collects data on food and housing insecurity on college campuses.
  • Connects eligible students with nutrition programs such as SNAP.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced on July 15, 2019, and Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT) introduced on July 11, 2019.

S. 2143/H.R. 3809 – College Student Hunger Act of 2019

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Enables more low-income college students to access SNAP.
  • Urges governments and academic institutions to take a proactive role in addressing college student food insecurity.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced on July 17, 2019, and Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL) introduced on July 17, 2019.

H.R. 3734 – Supporting Transparency to Overcome Poverty (STOP) and Campus Hunger Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Requires the U.S. Department of Education and higher learning institutions to better coordinate the sharing of information about SNAP, WIC, and on-campus food assistance.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduced on July 12, 2019.

Wage and Tax Policy

Find more on Budget, Appropriations & Anti-Poverty Policy.

S. 150 / H.R. 582 – Raise the Wage Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Raises the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024. Note: The current minimum has been at $7.25 since 2009.
  • Phases out employers’ ability to pay sub-minimum wages to tipped workers, workers with disabilities, and teenagers.

Sen. Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced On January 16, 2019. Passed in the House on July 17, 2019.

S. 1138 / H.R. 3157 – Working Families Tax Relief Act (A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the earned income and child tax credits, and for other purposes)

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Substantially expands the earned Earned income Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
  • Bolsters the economic security of 46 million households.

Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S. 1138 on April 10, 2019. Reps. Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Dwight Evans (D-PA) introduced H.R. 3157 on June 6, 2019.

Immigration Policy

H.R. 3222 – No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act of 2019

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Provides that no Federal funds may be used to carry out the proposed rule of the Department of Homeland Security entitled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced on June 18, 2019.

Budget/Appropriations

Find more on Budget, Appropriations & Anti-Poverty Policy.

H.R. 1865 – Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020

Became P.L. 116-94 on December 20, 2019

What it does:

  • Provides FY2020 appropriations for several federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Agriculture.