Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Passed and Signed!
After more than a year on continuing resolution, on December 2, 2010 Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. President Barack Obama signed the bill the morning of December 13th. Click here for his remarks. Thank you to all of you who participated in our listening sessions, submitted comments, and weighed in with your congressperson over the past two years. This bill has many excellent components that will increase access to nutritious foods for children.
For more information visit the Food Research and Action Center at www.frac.org.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the following provisions will be implemented:
1. Upgrading nutritional standards for school meals by increasing the federal reimbursement rate for school lunches by 6 cents for districts who comply with federal nutrition standards. This is the first real reimbursement rate increase in over 30 years.
2. Improving the nutritional quality of all food in schools by providing USDA with the authority to set nutritional standards for all foods sold in schools, including in vending machines, the "a la carte" lunch lines, and school stores.
3. Increases the number of eligible children enrolled in the school meals programs by using Medicaid data to directly certify children who meet income requirements without requiring individual applications connecting approximately 115,000 new students to the school meals program.
4. Enhances universal meal access for eligible children in high poverty communities by eliminating paper applications and using census data to determine school wide income eligibility.
5. Provides more meals for at-risk children nationwide by allowing Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) providers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to be reimbursed for providing a meal to at-risk children after school paving the way for an additional 21 million meals to children annually. Connecticut already has this program.
6. Empowering parents by requiring schools to make information more readily available to parents about the nutritional quality of school meals, as well as the results of any audits.
7. Improving the quality of foods supplied to schools by building on and further advancing the work USDA has been doing to improve the nutritional quality of the commodities that schools get from USDA and use in their lunch and breakfast programs.
8. Improving WIC by making it easier for children to get recertified as eligible for the program, requiring greater use of EBT technology (debit cards), and expanding support for breastfeeding .
The bill, while monumental, is set to be partially funded with SNAP/Food Stamp funds. Advocates, including the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and End Hunger Connecticut! worked with the President and Congressional members to secure a commitment to restore those cuts following its passage. We will be continuing to work on restoring these cuts are set to take effect in late 2013.
We Can All Help End Childhood Hunger by 2015!
Improve child nutrition programs and work toward ending childhood hunger!
The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2009 provided an opportunity to make significant improvements to school meals, summer meals, meals served at after-school programs and day care, and WIC. End Hunger CT! has led and participated in activities that reach out to our Connecticut delegation asking them to speak up for ending childhood hunger in Connecticut.
-Testifying before Congress
-Organizing Child Nutrition Listening Sessions in Districts #3 (DeLauro) and #2 4 Congressman Joe Coutney Summer Foodresized.jpg(Courtney)
-Leading a Child Nutrition Webinar in collaboration with the Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS)
Congress Approves FY2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill
The Agriculture Appropriations bill (P.L. 111-080) extends the child nutrition programs to September 30, 2010 - giving Congress the time needed for reauthorization. Congressional leaders hope to have this process completed before passage of the new FY 2011 budget resolution in the spring.
The final bill includes $97.58 billion in mandatory spending and another $23.30 billion for discretionary programs that will be administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
* provides tens of billions in ongoing nutrition program support;
* adds Connecticut, Nevada, and Wisconsin plus the District of Columbia to the ten states already covered in the Afterschool Meal Program;
* boosts WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers for women to the IOM (Institute of Medicine)-recommended levels;
* invests new funding in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, summer nutrition, child care food, school equipment, and school meal direct certification.
WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children)
WIC funds at $7.252 billion-an increase of $398 million above last year's level. Increases in Fruit and Vegetable vouchers up to levels recommended by the Institute of Medicine, $80 million for breastfeeding initiatives, $60 million for improved state management information systems, $14 million for infrastructure improvements, and continued exemption of military combat pay from WIC eligibility.
Child Nutrition Programs
Child Nutrition Programs received 16.0 billion-a 1.9 billion increase over 2009. Afterschool suppers will be permitted in four new areas including Connecticut, Acquiring the At-risk Supper Program is huge news for Connecticut who joins the other eleven states in the nation who currently have the program. This program will allow Child and Adult Care Food (CACFP) providers to serve suppers to children 0-18 in low income areas. Stay tuned for more information about this new and exciting program that will help increase accessibility to healthy meals for children in CT.
A $4.3 billion dollar increase (enough funds for more than 36 million people a month) has been allocated for SNAP. The total amount allocated is $58.278 billion.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
TEFAP enhancements include $49.95 million for storage and distribution costs and $6 million to start a Food Bank Infrastructure Grants Program.
For more information on specific programs please visit FRAC's website here.