Oct 25, 2022

Let’s Celebrate Growing Healthy Schools Month

October is Growing Healthy Schools Month in Washington, D.C.! During this month, we set aside time to celebrate all the ways in which the District of Columbia focuses on health and wellness in schools.
This year, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the administering agency for all D.C. schools, chose the theme “Recover, Reconnect, Refresh” as a way to revitalize student well-being, as well as their connection to fellow students, teachers, their community, and schools.

Oct 13, 2022

Fiona, Ian and SNAP: A Tale of Two Hurricane Responses

SNAP Director

Two hurricanes — Fiona and Ian — inflicted massive damage on Puerto Rico and Florida in September 2022, but the federal nutrition program responses have differed significantly. As a federal entitlement program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond quickly and effectively to changes in need, whether due to economic downturns or natural disasters. It is available in all states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Puerto Rico’s counterpart program, the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP), however, is a block grant with fixed funding that hampers its ability to fully meet needs, including in disasters. It is long past the time for our nation to correct this inequity and provide Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands with pathways to the SNAP entitlement that serves other Americans.

Oct 07, 2022

Building Momentum for Healthy School Meals for All during National School Lunch Week, October 10-14

Deputy Director, School and Out-of-School Time Programs

October 10–14 is National School Lunch Week, an annual event celebrating the critical role that school lunch plays in providing children with the nutrition they need to learn and thrive both in and out of the classroom, as well as the tireless work of school nutrition departments across the country in connecting children to the nutrition they need to learn and thrive.
This year’s celebration comes on the heels of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and its landmark National Strategy, which sets an ambitious but achievable goal of ending hunger by 2030. A key part of this strategy is advancing a pathway to Healthy School Meals for All, which acknowledges that school meals are just as important to students’ academic success as textbooks or transportation.

Oct 06, 2022

Leveraging the Child Nutrition Programs to Provide Disaster Relief

Senior Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

With wildfires ravaging communities on the West Coast and hurricane season well underway on the East Coast, school districts and other operators of Child Nutrition Programs can work with their state child nutrition agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide critical nutrition support to students and their families.

When a major disaster declaration is issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), USDA has the authority to waive program requirements that limit access to meals in situations resulting from damage or disruptions due to natural or human-made disasters, or other exceptional emergency situations. These include, but are not limited to, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods. School districts and other entities that operate Child Nutrition Programs can work with their state child nutrition agency and USDA to apply for waivers from program requirements that would otherwise limit children’s access to meals.

Oct 05, 2022

Report Finds WIC Enhancements Result in Improved Access and Increased Participation During COVID-19

According to a new FRAC report, WIC waivers and enhancements during the pandemic have simultaneously removed access barriers and increased the value of participating in WIC, resulting in overall increases in program participation.
In February 2022, WIC reached 6.2 million participants, a 1.2 percent increase from February 2020. Learn more about the key findings.