July 2021
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On the Hill

Senate Democrats have announced broad agreement on a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, which is expected to include child nutrition provisions from President Biden’s American Families Plan. The provisions provide a strong foundation to ensure children have access to the nutrition they need year-round. Several congressional leaders, FRAC, and others continue to advocate for additional priorities, such as Healthy School Meals for All students at no charge beyond the school year 2021–2022, which has been endorsed by hundreds of national, state, and local organizations. Urge Congress to make important investments to strengthen and improve the child nutrition programs and SNAP through budget reconciliation. See FRAC’s Budget Reconciliation 101.


DCHS Premieres Federal Nutrition Programs Toolkit
A new D.C. Federal Nutrition Programs Toolkit is designed to help community-based organizations, social service and healthcare providers, District agencies, and community members connect low-income households with federal nutrition programs. Beverley Wheeler, director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, told The DC Line, “with this toolkit, our community leaders can play a key role in ensuring children, young adults, adults, and older adults can connect with the right providers to help gain access to the nutrition they need for their health and well-being.”


California and Maine Make Healthy School Meals for All a Reality
California Senator Nancy Skinner and Maine Senate President Troy Jackson spoke with FRAC about the recent passing of free school meals legislation in their respective states and the need for Congress to make free healthy school meals available to all children across the country beyond school year 2021–2022.


It’s Time to Improve our Safety Nets
Pandemic-related programs are slowly going away. The 15 percent boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) only runs through September 30, which will leave millions without additional benefits to purchase the food they need for themselves and their families. FRAC’s Ellen Vollinger spoke with The New York Times, “[C]hanges [to SNAP] increased benefits for the program, which is federally funded but runs through the states. Beneficiaries have received emergency allotments, which increased their monthly benefits to the maximum amounts permitted or higher.”


ADA Anniversary Is a Time to Double Down on Investments for Inclusion
While the ADA has bolstered civil rights for millions of individuals living with a disability, significant challenges remain to achieving an inclusive society. This is particularly true regarding income equality and food security for people with disabilities. FRAC’s Sofia Mucha and Ellen Vollinger outline how federal programs, like SNAP, support the disability community.

Preparing for Disaster Season
Experts predict a 60 percent chance for an above-normal hurricane season this year. Hurricanes bring with them high winds, flooding, destruction, and death. Yet, they aren’t the only natural disaster we need to prepare for this summer and beyond. FRAC’s Congressional Hunger Fellow Lexie Holden shares what you need to know about Disaster SNAP.

The American Rescue Plan’s Impact on Out-of-School Time Meals and Programming
As the school year wraps up and summer begins, out-of-school time programs are shifting from afterschool snacks and meals to summer meals. In this guest FRAC Chat blog, Afterschool Alliance’s Erik Peterson discusses how program providers will navigate challenges related to the pandemic while also working to access new federal COVID-19 relief funding that can support out-of-school time programming.

Cost Tops List of Hurdles to Eating Healthy While Receiving SNAP: A New USDA Study
A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) details barriers SNAP participants face to eating healthy meals. According to the report, the most commonly noted barrier (61 percent) is the high cost of healthy foods. FRAC’s Congressional Hunger Fellow Lexie Holden assesses the findings and makes recommendations for investing in SNAP.

Community Eligibility Participation in School Year 2020–2021 and Beyond
Despite the disruption of school nutrition operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, year-after-year adoption of community eligibility has not slowed down among schools and districts across the country. FRAC’s Allyson Pérez explores the findings in the new FRAC report on community eligibility in school year 2020–2021.

New Research Reinforces Importance of Connecting Families With P-EBT and SNAP During the Pandemic
A new MassINC Polling Group survey sponsored by the Shah Family Foundation, reveals that while SNAP and P-EBT benefits helped many Massachusetts families purchase groceries, many others who were likely eligible to receive benefits and were experiencing food insecurity missed out on SNAP and the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program benefits during COVID-19. FRAC’s Ellen Vollinger and Kelsey Boone dive into the new data.

Research Shows SNAP Benefits Fall Short of Meals Costs
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits have been crucial in mitigating food hardship and stimulating economic activity during the COVID-19 crisis. A new report from the Urban Institute, however, documents that maximum SNAP benefit levels still fall short of the cost of low-income meals in 96 percent of all U.S. counties. Moreover, even with the 15 percent boost temporarily in place since January 2021, maximum SNAP benefits fall short of meal costs in 4 out of 10 counties. FRACs Ellen Vollinger connects these findings to the Thrifty Food Plan and calls on Congress to extend and expand the SNAP boosts.



Click to Tweet: 

Join @fractweets in urging Congress to support nutrition programs & other anti-poverty proposals in the #AmericanFamiliesPlan, as well as #SchoolMeals4All: https://p2a.co/MQGTtCu #SNAPMatters #EndHungerNow

New @fractweets Food Insufficiency During COVID-19 Dashboard features:

✔️ Data by race, ethnicity, & gender

✔️ Data visualizations mapping state-by-state rates

✔️ Research briefs breaking down data on communities of color & special populations

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3xHugo3

Coming Soon ...

August: Back-to-School Month

August 1-7: National Farmers’ Market Week

August 1-7: National WIC Breastfeeding Week

August 6: Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

August 9-30: Congressional Recess

FRAC 2021 Editorial Calendar

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