September 14, 2020

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Join Us Tomorrow for Our Washington Post Live Event

Register now for this special FRAC 50th anniversary event. Ray Suarez, host of WorldAffairs, will interview FRAC President Luis Guardia on how COVID-19 is deepening America's hunger crisis and how federal nutrition programs are critical to help struggling households put food on the table and stimulating the economy.

School Meal Waivers

Advocates Push Congress to Act to Curb Child Hunger, National Journal, September 8, 2020
“We remain hopeful that these waivers would be extended through the rest of the year because we think there’s still going to be a lot of need for flexibility after December 31, 2020,” said Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at the Food Research & Action Center.

School Lunches Take on New Role During Pandemic, The Escalon Times, September 9, 2020
“Effective immediately, we are able to reapply for the Seamless Summer Feeding Option which allows us to feed all children from one to 18 free meals,” said Escalon Unified School District food service director Shelli Nicholas. “This will include breakfast and lunch. We are thrilled that the CDE [California Department of Education] recognizes the need to feed all our children.”

Ensuring Kids Get Meals as They Head Back to School, KMA Radio, September 8, 2020
“We need to make sure that there’s enough flexibility for child nutrition programs so that communities can operate the child-nutrition programs and provide meals to the families who need them,” said Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at the Food Research & Action Center.

Free school meals in the Upstate to relieve many families, WSPA, September 10, 2020
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they are extending the Summer Food Service Program into the 2020 school year. “My estimate is that the vast majority, if not all the school districts in [South Carolina] are going to apply for this,” said Joe Urban, Nutrition Director of Greenville County schools. “It’s a great benefit and if they’re able to do it they’re going to do it.”

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)

Families to receive one-time refund for subsidized school meals, 8 News Now, September 8, 2020
In Nevada, a one-time refund for the cost of school lunches will be sent to the homes of children who would have received free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The refund is for meals missed during the spring as COVID-19 prompted school building closures, according to a Tuesday news release from the Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services. “Families do not need to apply,” said Steve Fisher, administrator of the Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services. “The benefits will be released automatically based on enrollment in free or reduced-price school nutrition services.”

Louisiana Reopens 2019-2020 Pandemic EBT Applications, KNOE 8 News, September 8, 2020
The Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services are partnering with numerous nonprofit organizations to connect these benefits with eligible families who did not apply for the program during the original application period, including the Food Research & Action Center.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Michael Bennet and Joe Neguse: Expand SNAP During this Crisis, Boulder Daily Camera, September 8, 2020 
In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increase consistent with our bill as part of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, and as Congress returns this week to debate a new relief package, we must keep up the pressure to include our proposal. The health of our kids, our families, and our economy hang in the balance.

Automatic SNAP replacements approved for 26 parishes impacted by Hurricane Laura, September 10, 2020
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has received federal approval to provide 50 percent replacement benefits automatically to SNAP recipients in 26 parishes due to widespread power outages caused by Hurricane Laura. The replacement benefits, which are meant to replace food purchased with SNAP and lost due to the storm, will be loaded onto recipients’ EBT cards automatically.

Opinion/Letter: Time to boost SNAP, extend unemployment benefits, The Telegram, September 11, 2020
In this opinion piece, Gina Plata-Nino, staff attorney at the Central West Justice Center, calls on Congress to increase SNAP benefits. She argues that Congress must go back to the negotiating table and enact a COVID-19 relief package to alleviate food hardship and jump start the economy. The road map for action is the House-passed HEROES Act package that would boost SNAP benefits as well as extend pandemic unemployment. It would do much to limit the depth and duration of the hardship and recession. Every $1 of SNAP during a downturn generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in economic activity, a lot of bang for the buck.

Disparate Impacts

Battered by the virus, tribes race to boost census count, PBS, September 8, 2020
With millions of federal dollars for Native American communities on the line, tribes are racing to avoid being undercounted — again — in the 2020 census. There are more than 300 reservations nationwide, almost all trail significantly behind the rest of the country in the count. “We’re probably looking at a historic undercount,” said James Tucker, vice chairman of the U.S. Census National Advisory Committee. “It’s not going to be enough time.”


Congress Must Renew and Expand Pandemic EBT to Feed Hungry Kids, September 14, 2020
Millions of families have lost jobs and wages due to the economic crisis created by COVID-19. In response, Congress has taken a number of steps to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on hunger, unemployment, and housing. These efforts — some of which already have expired or will expire on September 30 — remain critical for struggling families across the country. One such effort is the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, created by Congress through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It provides an EBT card with the value of free school breakfast and lunch for the days that families lost access to free and reduced-price school meals due to school closures. Without Congressional action, P-EBT will end on September 30.

FRAC’s Early Success Strengthening School Feeding Programs, September 14, 2020
When FRAC began its operations in 1970, the National School Lunch Program had been in existence for almost a quarter of a century. Enacted in 1946, the program was designed for two purposes: safeguarding the health and well-being of our nation’s children, and encouraging the consumption of agricultural commodities, especially those in surplus so that domestically grown food would yield better prices for U.S. farmers. In this #FRACTurns50 blog, FRAC’s Founding Executive Director, Ron Pollack, shares the organization’s critical role in the expansion of the school meals programs.

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