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.
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
The Afterschool Nutrition Programs offered an important opportunity to combat hunger during the 2020–2021 school year as communities and families continued to feel the educational, health, and economic impacts of COVID-19. Read the 2021 report to learn more.Read the report
- Fact Sheet
Annual estimates of food insecurity are released every year from the Census Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (CPS-FSS). Surveyed participants were interviewed in December 2020 about food insecurity in the prior 12 months. This resource summarizes those findings.Learn more
- Best Practice
When natural disasters strike, such as, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and tornados, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) can employ special “alternative procedures” to help WIC clients and those newly eligible receive timely access to WIC benefits and services. Explore this resource to learn more about how WIC responds.Explore the Best Practice
- Best PracticeMedicaid Direct Certification Demonstration Project Request for Proposals: Apply by September 30, 2021
Direct certification has transformed the process of certifying eligible children for free school meals. States can now apply to participate in the Medicaid Direct Certification Demonstration Project and bring the same benefits of direct certification to children, families, and schools that are connected to Medicaid participation. Read this resource to learn more about Medicaid Direct Certification, why your state should apply for the Medicaid Direct Certification Demonstration Project, key deadlines and information, and what states are saying about the positive impacts.Explore the Best Practice
The last year-and-a-half has underscored how crucial maintaining access to school lunches is to alleviating childhood hunger and food insecurity. Despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, school nutrition programs across the country have been able to continue serving nutritious school lunches because of national waiver flexibilities, which are available through June 30, 2022. These waivers allow schools to continue serving meals to all students at no charge while also providing the needed flexibility to operate the school nutrition programs under the unique circumstances created by the pandemic.
In addition to persistently high COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States, an increasing number of Americans also suffer from diet-related diseases, including heart disease, diabetes cancer, and obesity. Both COVID-19 and diet-related diseases are impacted by poverty and hunger. Furthermore, structural racism drives inequity in hunger, poverty, and poor health.
This week is National School Lunch Week, a time to recognize the important role that School Nutrition Programs play in reducing food insecurity, supporting academic achievement, and, as a recent study found, providing children throughout the U.S. with healthy meals.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have been able to offer free school meals to all students through waivers from the U.S Department of Agriculture, allowing every child to experience the educational and health benefits linked to school meals. Understanding that offering free school meals to all children needs to continue after the pandemic, California and Maine passed legislation to establish free school meals for all students, regardless of household income, as a permanent part of the school day.