FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act (‘Omnibus’) Legislative Summary
On December 23, Congress passed the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2023. The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill, one of 12 subcommittee bills contained in the omnibus spending package, provides $25.5 billion — an increase of $737 million, 3 percent above fiscal year (FY) 2022 — to fund U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. The committee highlights can be found here and a division-by-division summary of the bill is here.
It is important to note that one offset (funding mechanism) for certain provisions in the legislation was a premature cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Emergency Allotments (EAs). This cut will hasten the hunger cliff for millions of people with low incomes as soon as March 2023 (as opposed to the end of the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration). For more on the SNAP EAs cuts, go to Food Research & Action Center’s statement.
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
- Fact Sheet
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 establishes a permanent, nationwide Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer EBT) Program to begin the summer of 2024 and makes changes to the Pandemic-EBT Program for the summer of 2023.
Learn more about provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 in FRAC’s fact sheet on Summer and Pandemic EBT Programs.Read the fact sheet
This report measures the reach of the Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2021, nationally and in each state, compared to July 2019 and July 2020.Read the report
Partial implementation allows school districts to implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in individual schools, a group of schools, or multiple groups of schools to participate in CEP instead of implementing it district-wide. Learn more about why school districts choose CEP, calculating CEP reimbursements, grouping, and communication strategies in this guide.Read the guide
- Fact Sheet
In 2022, the country started to “return to normal,” while still grappling with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the year, FRAC worked steadfastly to strengthen the federal nutrition programs. Learn more about FRAC’s advocacy and research highlights from 2022 in our Year in Review brief.Read the review
This blog is Part 1 of a two-part series focused on SNAP and eligible immigrant families. Part 1 reviews key SNAP participation data trends and lifts up the importance of the new Biden administration public charge rule as a critical step in helping to reverse SNAP participation decreases among eligible immigrant households. Part 2 will examine opportunities to address barriers that impede immigrant access to SNAP in addition to leveraging the new rule.
Kristie To is a high school student who has been a leader in California’s school meals for all campaign. Kristie recently wrote an op-ed for Voices of OC, on the impact of free school meals on her and her family.
The following is an interview with Kristie and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) on the impact of the free school meals for all campaign in California, as well as her advice on how youth can effectively use their voice and get involved in free school meals for all campaigns across the country.
In 2021, Maine passed landmark legislation guaranteeing healthy school meals for all students, but the groundwork leading up to this began years before.
Full Plates Full Potential was founded in 2014 out of what originally began as a legislative task force to address Maine’s high rate of student food insecurity.
The task force quickly recognized the need for a nonprofit and non-governmental organization dedicated solely to addressing childhood food insecurity and to leading the work, assembling coalition partners, and investigating best practices and sensible solutions related to the existing, yet underutilized, federal Child Nutrition Programs.