Check out FRAC’s Bills We’re Supporting page for additional priorities for families struggling against hunger.

Prioritizing Child Nutrition Programs This Congress: Senate and House Advocacy Opportunities

House Action: Child Nutrition Reauthorization Moving Via the “Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act”

On July 27, the House Education and Labor Committee passed its 2022 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill, the “Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act,” by a vote of 27-20. The bill now heads to the House Floor. Urge your House Members to press for a floor vote quickly to allow the reauthorization process to move this year. Time is running out in this Congress to pass legislation that will ensure that critical child nutrition programs are improved, strengthened, and expanded so that all children receive the nutrition they so desperately need. 

For a closer look at the bill’s provisions, read FRAC’s full summary.

Senate Action

Use the recess period (now until after Labor Day) to meet with your Senators (especially those on the Senate Agriculture Committee) and urge them to take up the “Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act.” Meet with Senators and have them elevate their child nutrition priorities with Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR).

Act Now:

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

End Hunger Now Button in front of White House

White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

Learn more about FRAC’s priorities for the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and how to get involved.

Making the Most of May (and June)

In total, Congress is in session for just six weeks between now and the month-long August recess. We have no time to waste. FRAC’s Large School District Report: Operating School Nutrition Programs During the Pandemic found that USDA’s nationwide child nutrition waivers (expiring June 30, 2022) were a game changer for students, families, and schools.

Whether it be in a supplemental funding bill for urgent pandemic-related needs or a legislative package via reconciliation, Congress must immediately prioritize the nutritional needs of children and support Child Nutrition Waivers, the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), and Summer EBT.

Act Now:

  • Urge your Senators to sign Sen. Gillibrand’s Letter by June 3. Senate Leadership must include provisions in upcoming legislation that will ensure children can access nutritious meals and snacks through the child nutrition programs at school, childcare, and in out-of-school time programs. These investments make that happen. 
  • Email your Members through the FRAC Action Network. Share this link with your state and local partners to be loud in support of child nutrition program priorities.

Invite your Member of Congress on a Site Visit. Seeing children, families, and individuals engaged in food and nutrition programs can encourage elected officials to become anti-hunger champions. Use our “Site Visit Guide.”

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.

2,000 Organizations Urge Congress to Extend Child Nutrition Waivers

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.

Congressional Calendar

Explore the 2022 House and Senate calendars.

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.

Build Back Better Act (Budget Reconciliation) – Immediate Action Needed
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.

Actions for Individuals

On March 10, the House passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, sending it to the President for his signature. The COVID-19 relief bill will help bolster nutrition assistance for tens of millions of people across the country.

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.

Read FRAC's Budget Reconciliation 101

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.

Read the Transition Recommendations

Looking for the latest information from FRAC on the coronavirus? Our COVID-19 page has all the updates.

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 & Data

See More Resources
  • Fact Sheet

    Many schools have found it more difficult to collect school meals applications during COVID-19, and this may be exacerbated as schools return to pre-pandemic operations. This toolkit shares outreach strategies and communication resources to help school districts and community partners ensure families return school meals applications.

    View the toolkit
  • Report

    In spring 2020, millions of students were either out of school or learning remotely. Pandemic EBT helped to fill the nutritional gap left by lack of access to school meals and had a large impact on addressing food insecurity.

    FRAC’s latest Pandemic EBT report draws on a survey sent to all state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program directors to highlight the critical importance of this program for children, families, and school nutrition programs. It then takes lessons learned reported by states to make policy recommendations for a permanent nationwide Summer EBT Program and identifies best practices to support the implementation.

    Read the report
  • Fact Sheet

    Accompanying FRAC’s report, Pandemic EBT: Recommendations for a Permanent Nationwide Summer EBT Program, these state fact sheets provide a detailed picture of approved state P-EBT plans, including statistics on number of children served, communications and outreach strategies, and estimates of total benefit issuance. 

    Read the fact sheets
  • Guide

    The reauthorization of the federal Child Nutrition Programs presents a unique opportunity to correct federal policy that has exacerbated food insecurity in Indian Country. In this policy brief, FRAC and the Intertribal Agriculture Council explore the ways Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) can ensure the Child Nutrition Programs reach and serve Tribal constituents in a more efficient and effective manner. 

    Read the policy brief

FRAC Chat

Aug 15, 2022
Kelsey Boone

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) released a new report, Pandemic EBT: Recommendations for a Permanent Nationwide Summer EBT Program, which used responses collected from a survey of state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program agencies about the summer 2021 Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Program to identify and synthesize lessons learned from implementation to inform policy and best practices.

Aug 11, 2022
Andrew Cheyne, SNAP Deputy Director and Ellen Vollinger, SNAP Director

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) maximum allotments will increase in fiscal year (FY) 2023, but fall short of the amounts needed for adequate diets, according to a Food Research & Action Center analysis. The cost-of-living adjustments, announced by U.S. Department of Agriculture in August 2022, reflect the pricing of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) market basket in June 2022. Given the impact of inflation in recent months, the maximum benefit for four-person SNAP households with the lowest incomes will increase from $835 to $939, but still will be $75 below the level calibrated to the more realistic Low-Cost Food Plan.

Aug 09, 2022
LaMonika Jones, Anti-Hunger Program Analyst

Summertime is perfect for warm weather, outdoor adventures, and plenty of sunshine! It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the importance of local food procurement and agriculture-based nutrition education in child nutrition programs on Farm to Summer Day, August 9, in Washington, D.C.