October 13, 2020

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Addressing Food Insecurity During COVID-19

FRAC President Luis Guardia will be a panelist on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s webinar, “Addressing Food Insecurity and Poor Nutrition During COVID-19,” set for Wednesday, October 14 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. Eastern. He will highlight how struggling households are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and how federal nutrition programs play a key role in helping millions of people put food on the table while also stimulating the economy. Register here.

COVID-19: Child Nutrition

FRAC Commends USDA Decision to Extend Child Nutrition Waivers through 2020-2021 School Year FRAC.org, October 9, 2020
“The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) commends the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its decision to extend the Summer Nutrition waivers through June 30, 2021. This extension will ensure schools and private nonprofit organizations have the consistency and time needed in order to effectively plan and implement meal service for millions of children across the country who rely on free and reduced-price school meals,” said Luis Guardia, president of FRAC.

Free school meals program extended through June 2021 in Shasta County, KRCR News, October 12, 2020
Children under the age of 18 can now continue to receive free school meals at various school districts in Shasta County, California. The summer meal program has been extended for an entire year, ensuring local children have a couple of free meals a day until June 30, 2021. 

USDA extends waivers for free meals, Trib Live, October 12, 2020
School children across the U.S. can continue receiving free school meals through the end of the academic year, according to USDA. “As our nation recovers and reopens, we want to ensure that children continue to receive the nutritious breakfasts and lunches they count on during the school year wherever they are, and however they are learning,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said Monday in a statement.

School Breakfast Fuels Students’ Mind and Bodies, Modern Wellness Guide
In this opinion piece by FRAC President Luis Guardia, he speaks to the importance of school breakfast. To boost the numbers, FRAC promotes two things. First, move breakfast out of the cafeteria and into the classroom. When breakfast is served in the cafeteria before the school day starts, it misses too many students. Eating in the classroom this year is even more important than ever to limit large gatherings of students and support social distancing. Second, offer it at no cost to all students. When these best practices are combined, school breakfast participation skyrockets.

COVID-19: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Advocates worry ‘food insecurity’ gains could be upended by COVID-19, Kronkite News, October 12, 2020
“People on the lower end of the income scale have certainly had it worse, but the Black and Latinx communities have been disproportionately affected,” said Luis Guardia, president of FRAC.

Infants in Food Insecure Homes at Greater Obesity Risk, Study Finds, VeryWell Health, October 2, 2020
“Making SNAP adequate is very important because right now it's not really enough money for people to be able to get all that they need,” said Geri Henchy, director of Nutrition Policy and Early Childhood Programs at  FRAC. “These mothers don’t feel secure, and they are often skipping meals to make sure everything works out as far as the food supply. We need to stop that situation, and we can do that through SNAP.”

COVID-19: College Hunger

Pandemic threatens food security for many college students, Penn Capital-Starr, October 13, 2020
In this opinion piece by Stanford University postdoctoral research fellow Matthew Landry, and Purdue University associate professor of nutrition science Heather Eicher-Miller, there has been a rise in food insecurity among college students during COVID-19. The signs of this growing food insecurity began to emerge when the COVID-19 epidemic was beginning to take its toll. One spring 2020 report found that 38 percent of students at four-year universities were food-insecure in the previous 30 days. That was up 5 percentage points from 33 percent in the fall of 2019.

COVID-19: Disparate Impact

Letter: Missourians need virus relief aid to avoid more pain, St. Louis Today, October 10, 2020
In this opinion piece, Empower Missouri’s Director of Policy & Organizing, Jeanette Mott Oxford, calls on Congress to increase virus relief for Missouri households. According to a report from Empower Missouri, co-released with the Coalition on Human Needs on September 15, 40 percent of Missouri households include someone who has lost income between March 31 and August 31. In the homes that lost income that have children, 22 percent reported not having enough to eat sometime or often during the previous week. More than 13 percent of households also reported inability to pay rent, with housing instability especially high among Black and Hispanic families. Mott Oxford goes on to argue that additional help from the federal government cannot wait until after the election and that the time to offer assistance is now.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)

Focus Atlanta, Atlanta CW69, October 2, 2020
Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at FRAC stated, “Pandemic EBT provides a benefit card to families who were receiving free or reduced-price school meals last spring and it has $256 on it to help with the purchase of food.”

Many Upstate NY families to Get $420 Cards to Buy Food: See Who Qualifies, Syracuse.com, October 8, 2020
Some families across the state are getting some extra lunch money this month in their mailboxes. Other Upstate districts include Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Utica, Geneva, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, some schools in Liverpool, and Hannibal. To see other districts, you can search a database maintained by FRAC.


Dascha Polanco Urges Potential Voters to #FeedtheVote Change, Culturess, October 3, 2020
Change happens when we make our voices heard, and for Americans that means showing up at the ballot box. But as actress Dascha Polanco points out, based on the work done by FRAC, “Americans who have the least access to nutritious food have the lowest rate of voter registration.”

About Us

FRAC is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Visit our website to learn more.

Contact Us

Food Research & Action Center
1200 18th Street, NW Suite 400
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
(202) 986-2200