May 18, 2022

SNAP Plus Act of 2021 Would Improve Equitable SNAP Access by Permanently Ending the Hot Prepared Food Ban

Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), set in the 1970s, customers are prohibited from purchasing hot or prepared foods at the grocery store. This creates the counterintuitive experience in which consumers can purchase food items like chicken that is raw or frozen, but not a rotisserie chicken.
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), a member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Departmental Operations, has introduced legislation that would address this issue. With co-sponsors, Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), the SNAP Plus Act of 2021 (H.R. 6338) would permanently end the prohibition on hot prepared foods in SNAP.

May 17, 2022

Pandemic EBT: A Vital Tool to Reduce Childhood Hunger This Summer

Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

With summer fast approaching, and Congress’s failure to extend the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) child nutrition waiver authority –which will significantly limit access to summer meals—, Pandemic EBT (P-EBT ) will be even more important this summer to both school-age and young children.
Children can utilize both the Pandemic EBT program as well as visit meal sites this summer. Summer P-EBT provides benefits to families on an EBT card to purchase food to replace the school meals they lost access to during the summer months. These complimentary programs can help ensure that children have access to healthy, nutritious meals throughout the summer. In the summer of 2021, 47 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia distributed an estimated $10.9 billion to families in Summer P-EBT benefits.
On May 9, USDA released its summer 2022 P-EBT guidance, which includes a Q&A, State Plan Template, and Policy Memo

May 12, 2022

Older Americans Month: Understanding Food Insecurity Among Older Adults

In recognition of Older Americans Month, FRAC is releasing a two-part blog series on food insecurity among older adults.

Part 1 focuses on food insecurity’s prevalence among older adults as well as its disproportionate rates among Black and Latinx households and examines risk factors that make older adults more likely to experience food insecurity.

May 12, 2022

Federal Nutrition Programs Are Among Gateways for Internet Service Discounts

Legal/Food Stamp Director

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants are among those categorically eligible for discounts of up to $30 per month toward internet service. They also can “receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.”

The discounts are provided for households with lower incomes through the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). In addition to households with a member participating in SNAP, ACP-eligible households also include those with a member eligible for the National School Lunch Program or National School Breakfast Program , and those in receipt of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Pell grants, federal housing assistance, or Lifeline. Households participating in the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations Program (FDPIR) or certain other tribal programs are also ACP-eligible; such households on tribal reservations can receive ACP internet discounts of up to $75 a month.

May 10, 2022

National Minority Health Month: Raising Awareness with Dr. Ana Caskin and Beverley Wheeler

Food Research & Action Center

April is National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness about health disparities related to hunger and access to food that continues to affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups. It’s a time to encourage action through health education, early detection.
In the following video, Beverley Wheeler, director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, and Dr. Ana Caskin, pediatrician, and Associate Director of Community Pediatrics at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, discussed disparities related to hunger that impact minority communities and the correlation between trauma and hunger for children and their families. They also shared strategies used to maximize the impact of federal nutrition programs.