May 09, 2024

Protecting SNAP Consumer Choice Protects Participants’ Dignity

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a vital tool for public health, helping families supplement their budgets to put food on the table. A new Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) research brief underscores the ways that consumer choice in SNAP enhances dignity and equity in the program and entrusts families to make decisions about their health.

May 08, 2024

WIC Food Packages Update Is a Win for Children and Families

Program Manager, Root Causes and Specific Populations

This month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a final rule revising the WIC food package. The rule includes important updates that will enhance equitable access to nutritious food, improve the nutritional quality of the foods offered, and make WIC more participant-centered. These changes will contribute to longstanding positive impacts on program participation, health outcomes for WIC participants, and efforts to address health disparities.

Apr 26, 2024

Small Victories for Anti-Hunger Advocates in Maryland’s 2024 Legislative Session

Given the increased need, the 2024 Maryland legislative session presented crucial opportunities to strengthen and expand hunger programs at the state level. Maryland has a particularly short session, compared to other states with only 90 days from early January to early April. The 500+ bills that passed this year are currently being signed into law by Gov. Wes Moore.
The two key priorities for Maryland Hunger Solutions this year were:
(1) increasing the Maryland SNAP minimum benefit to $95 per month, and
(2) implementing universal school meals in Maryland.
Unfortunately, anti-hunger advocates in Maryland faced an uphill battle in passing any significant legislation in light of a grim state budget outlook. Advocates made the case that, even in tough budget years, it is important to make investments in anti-hunger programs that provide resources to our most vulnerable residents and lead to long-term positive economic impacts, improved educational outcomes, and health care cost savings.

Apr 15, 2024

Youth Insights — Cultivating Healthy Eating for the Future: An Interview With GENYOUth CEO Ann Marie Krautheim, M.A., R.D., L.D.

GENYOUth’s newest Youth Insights report, Fostering Wellness in Youth: Cultivating Healthy Eating for the Future, offers a comprehensive overview of how schools and key stakeholders can foster healthy eating among youth and provides insights directly from students. Today’s students have a strong sense of responsibility for their health and wellness. We know because we ask them. GENYOUth Insights elevates youth voice through original, timely research on topics that matter to students and their schools.

Apr 10, 2024

USDA Releases Reports Evaluating 11 Years of the Summer EBT Demonstration Project

Senior Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

In early March 2024, USDA released their final two reports on the Summer EBT demonstration projects. The reports evaluated the last seven years of the program: the first report covered 2015 to 2018, and the second covered 2019 to 2022. These reports differed from the previous evaluations of the demonstration projects in that they did not include an experimental design to evaluate the impact of the Summer EBT benefit. Instead, these reports evaluated the implementation and administration of the grants and examined patterns in household usage.
These reports found that parents and caregivers appreciated Summer EBT and saw the program as a critical resource that helped fill nutritional gaps. They felt the program provided flexibility in where they could purchase food and allowed families to purchase more nutritious foods.