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Child Nutrition

More on Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Early Childhood

H.R.5919 – Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act of 2021

Take action:

  • Allowing an additional meal or snack for children in a full day of care, which improves the adequacy of benefits;
  • improving reimbursement rate adjustments for child care home providers, making sure reimbursements keep up with the cost of a providing a healthy CACFP meal;
  • streamlining participation for parents and providers by moving to annual eligibility for proprietary child care centers;
  • maximizing technology to eliminate overly burdensome and outdated paperwork; and
  • making improvements to the serious deficiency process.

Resources: FRAC’s factsheet

Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) introduced on November 9, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the House.

S. 1270 – Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act of 2021

Take action:
What it does: Strengthens and expands the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) by:
  • allowing another meal or snack for children in a full day of care;
  • creating consistency across programs by allowing annual eligibility for proprietary child care centers;
  • increasing reimbursement rates for providers and sponsors;
  • improving area eligibility; and
  • eliminating overly burdensome and outdated paperwork.
Resources: FRAC’s factsheet; press release from Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced on April 21, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the Senate.

S.853 / H.R.2011 – Wise Investment in Children Act (WIC Act)

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Extends the WIC certification period to two years.
  • Extends program eligibility for children from 5 years until their sixth birthday.
  • Extends postpartum eligibility to two years for all mothers.

Resources: Press releases from Sen. Casey (D-PA), Sen. Collins (R-ME), and Rep. DeLauro. (D-CT).

Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), Jenniffer González-Cólon (R-PR), Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA), and Don Young (R-AK) introduced on March 18, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the Senate and House.

 

School-Based

S. 1530 H.R. 3115 – Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021

Take Action:

What it does:
  • Provide school breakfast and lunch at no charge to all children.
  • Increase school breakfast and school lunch reimbursements rates to match the recommended rates of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study (April 2019).
  • Provide free afterschool and summer meals and snacks to all children.
  • Expand Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) to all low-income children.
  • Provide up to three meals a day and a snack at no charge to children in child care.
  • Provide a 30-cent reimbursement for schools that procure local foods.
Resources: FRAC’s factsheet; press release from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced on May 10, 2021. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced on May 11, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the House and Senate.
Check to see a list of national and state organizations that endorse this bill.

S. 1590 / H.R. 3997 – CARE for Kids Act of 2021

What it does:
The bill would allow automatic eligibility for free school meals for the following groups of children:

  • Children being raised by a relative who receives adoption or guardianship assistance
  • Children being raised by grandparents or other relatives due to placement by a state or tribal child welfare agency
  • Children living in “grandfamily” housing or receiving housing assistance under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996
  • Children who are automatically eligible for Medicaid, such as children formerly in foster care or children with a disability
Additionally, the bill extends children’s eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals into the school year immediately following placement with a grandparent or other relative.
Resources: FRAC’s factsheet; press release from Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)  and Reps. Jahana Hayes (D-CT) and Don Bacon (R-NE) introduced on May 12, 2021. Click to see current cosponsors in the Senate and House.

Out-of-School Time

S. 1831 / H.R. 3519 – The Stop Child Hunger Act of 2021

Take action:

  • Organizations: Endorse the Stop Child Hunger Act by signing on to this letter. Click here to see the current list of national and state organizations endorsing this bill.
  • Organizations/Individuals: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor the Stop Child Hunger Act of 2021.

What it does:

  • Provide low-income families with children an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to purchase food when schools close for five days or more, during the summer, school breaks, and unanticipated school closures (such as in response to a pandemic or a natural disaster).

Resources: Support the Stop Child Hunger Act of 2021

Representatives Mike Levin (D-CA) and Jahana Hayes (D-CT) introduced on May 25, 2021, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced on May 26, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the House and Senate.

 

S. 1170 / H.R. 783 – Summer Meals Act of 2021

Take action:

  • Organizations:
    • Endorse the Summer Meals Act by completing this form. Click here to see the current list of national and state organizations endorsing this bill.
  • Organizations/Individuals:

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 seamlessly through the Summer Food Service Program.
  • Allows all sites to serve three meals
  • Provides grant funding to support efforts to reach underserved areas.

ResourcesSupport the Summer Meals Act of 2021

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced on April 15, 2021. Reps. Don Young (R-AK) and Rick Larsen (D-WA) introduced on February 3, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the Senate and House.

SNAP

Find more on SNAP.

H.R.2837 – Making Essentials Available and Lawful (MEAL) Act of 2021

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it doesRemove restrictions on SNAP and TANF for people with prior felony convictions

  • Repeals the 1996 ban on people with drug felony convictions receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Allows for applications to these programs before their release

ResourcesPress release from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)

Reps. Cohen (D-TN), Moore (D-WI), Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Hayes (D-CT) introduced on April 26, 2021 with 19 other original cosponsors. Check to see current cosponsors in the House. Check to see a list of national and state organizations that endorse this bill.

 

S.2192 / H.R.4077 – Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2021

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it doesIncreases baseline SNAP benefits, expands SNAP benefits to territories, and eliminates eligibility limits and unrealistic barriers by:

  • Using the Low-Cost Food Plan as the basis for calculating the SNAP formula, increasing the baseline benefits by approximately 30 percent
  • Permanently authorizes the standard medical deduction in every state for seniors and disabled individuals applying for SNAP benefits at a minimum of $140
  • Eliminates the cap on the Excess Shelter Deduction in the SNAP formula for all households
  • Eliminates time-limits on benefits
  • Creating a path to transition those who live and work in U.S. territories to SNAP, thus ending discrimination and expanding benefits for territories

ResourcesPress releases from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rep. Adams (D-NC), and Rep. Lee (D-CA).

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) introduced on June 23, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the Senate and House.

 

H.R. 1753 – Improving Access to Nutrition Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Eliminates SNAP’s arbitrary three-month time limit and ensures that all people have access to nutrition assistance and stay healthy while seeking full-time work.
  • Note: Under a law enacted in 1996, 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.

Resources: FRAC blog; press release from Rep. Lee (D-CA).

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and 19 original cosponsors introduced on March 10, 2021.

 

S. 2515 / H.R. 1919 – Enhanced Access To SNAP Act (Eats Act) of 2021

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does: Helps level SNAP access for low-income college students.

ResourcesPress releases from Rep. Gomez (D-CA) and Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY).

Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Harder (D-CA), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced on March 16, 2021 and Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced on July 28, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the House and Senate.

S. 1809/H.R. 3822 – ASSET Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Eliminates asset limits on SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
  • Raises the asset limits on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

ResourcesPress releases from Sen. Coons (D-DE), Sen. Brown (D-OH), and Rep. Gomez (D-CA).

Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Kim Schrier (D-WA), and Jahana Hayes (D-CT) introduced on May 20, 2021.

Check to see current cosponsors in the Senate and House.

Additional Anti-Poverty Priorities

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

H.R. 4497 – Housing is Infrastructure Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Provides $70 billion to address a decades-long divestment in public housing and the subsequent backlog of capital needs
  • Invests $45 billion in the Housing Trust Fund to preserve and build more than 200,000 rental homes that low-income households can afford
  • Repeals the Faircloth Amendment of the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998, enabling localities to allow for net increases in public housing
  • Advances equity via a $2.5 billion investment in fair housing enforcement and a requirement of federal agency grantees to consult fair housing organizations or agencies

Resources: See the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s synopsis of H.R.4497.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and 29 original cosponsors introduced on July 16, 2021.

 

H.R. 4496 – Ending Homelessness Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does: Enables all eligible households to obtain rental assistance, addresses the supply side of affordable housing, and aims to address urgent housing needs

  • Over ten years, provides additional funding until all eligible households can access housing vouchers
  • Over five years, grants $5 billion to the Housing Trust Fund for affordable rental homes and $5 billion in grants to build supportive housing
  • Enacts a ban on source-of-income and veteran-status discrimination with funding for its enforcement
  • Provides permanent authorization for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Resources: See the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s synopsis of H.R.4496. Financial Services Chairwoman Waters remarked on the need for universal vouchers in the fight to end homelessness at a June 9th committee hearing.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and 27 original cosponsors introduced on July 16, 2021.

 

S. 2182 – Eviction Crisis Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does:

  • Reduces preventable evictions and mitigates eviction-related consequences, including by creating a national, permanent Emergency Assistance Fund to test, evaluate, and expand proven interventions to help low-income households facing housing instability due to an unexpected economic shock.
  • Improves data and analysis on evictions
  • Improves information on tenant screening reports

ResourcesPress release from Sen. Bennet (D-CO) and factsheet and statement from Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign.

Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Todd Young (R-IN), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced on June 23, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the Senate.

S.53 / H.R.603 – Raise the Wage Act of 2021

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.

Resources: Press release and factsheet from House Education and Labor Committee. Press release from Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Factsheet from NELP and EPI.

Sens. Sanders (I-VT) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) introduced on January 26, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the Senate and House.

Equity

H.R.5227 – LIFT the BAR Act of 2021

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does: Expands health care, nutrition assistance, and other critical support programs to immigrants by:

  • Eliminating the five-year bar (i.e., waiting period) for access to Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, TANF, and the SSI program
  • Repealing key provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 that restrict eligibility, erect barriers, and deter access to critical services for immigrants with sponsors
  • Including any individual who is lawfully present in the U.S. in the definition of “qualified noncitizen,” which is used to determine eligibility for many federal programs
  • Restoring flexibilities for states and localities to provide benefits to immigrants with their own funds 

ResourcesPress releases from Rep. Jayapal (D-WA) and Rep. Cárdenas (D-CA)

Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) introduced on September 10, 2021. Check to see current cosponsors in the House.

S.2747 – Freedom to Vote Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it doesAdvances equity and access to the ballot box by setting basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast ballots in the way that works best for them

  • Enacts automatic voter registration and ensures access to online voter registration and same day registration
  • Makes Election Day a public holiday
  • Ensures all voters have access to at least 15 consecutive days of early voting for federal elections
  • Strengthens voter list maintenance standards and sets federal minimum standards on vote by mail and drop boxes
  • Requires provisional ballots to count for all eligible races within a county, regardless of the precinct in which the ballot was cast
  • Restores the right to vote in federal elections for people who have served their time for felony convictions
  • Sets a uniform national standard for states that require identification for in-person voting
  • Expands voting access protections for those with disabilities, Native Americans, the military, overseas voters, and underserved communities

ResourcesPress release from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Sens. Klobuchar (D-MN), Kaine (D-VA), King (I-ME), Manchin (D-WV), Merkley (D-OR), Padilla (D-CA), and Warnock (D-GA) introduced on September 14, 2021. See current cosponsors in the Senate.

S. 1 / H.R. 1 – For the People Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does: Returns power to the people by protecting and strengthening voting rights, ending the dominance of big money in politics, ending extreme partisan gerrymandering, and putting in place ethics reforms, among many other voting and election reforms.

Resources: FRAC statement; resource page from Rep. Sarbanes (D-MD).

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced on March 17, 2021. See current cosponsors in the Senate. Rep. Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced January 4, 2021, and the House passed the bill on March 3, 2021.

S.393 / H.R. 5 – Equality Act

Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor.

What it does: Prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.

Resources: Press releases from Rep. Cicilline (D-RI) and Sen. Merkley (D-OR).

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced on February 23, 2021. See current cosponsors in the Senate. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced on February 18, 2021, and the House passed the bill on February 25, 2021.

Budget/Appropriations

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

H.R.1319 – American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Became Public Law No: 117-2 on March 11, 2021.

What it does:

  • COVID-19 relief bill will help bolster nutrition assistance and other critical needs for tens of millions of people across the country.

Resources: FRAC statement; USDA factsheet on nutrition provisions; and Senate Budget Committee resources, including a section-by-section summary.