NH Food Access Coalition June 2021 Update

by Tiffany Dodier, Food Access Coalition Coordinator

A lot is going on in the world of child hunger and nutrition legislation both at the federal level and at the state level. The Child Nutrition Reauthorization is well underway whereby Congress makes amendments to existing child nutrition statutes and authorizations for appropriations to programs that are not permanently authorized. Listed below is legislation introduced that make amendments to these programs:

S. 1270 – The Access to Health Foods for Young Children Act of 2021 strengthens and expands the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) by allowing another meal or snack for those in full day care, increasing reimbursement rates, reducing area eligibility from 50% to 40%, and relieving administrative burden by simplifying and reducing paperwork. More detailed information can be found here. This bill was introduced in the Senate April 21, 2021, by Sen. Robert P Casey Jr of PA.
S. 853 / H.R.2011 – The Wise Investment in Children Act (WIC Act) improves eligibility and certification periods for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) by extending the certification period to two years, program eligibility for children from five years until their sixth birthday, and postpartum eligibility to two years for mothers. This bill was introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives on March 18, 2021, by Sen. Casey and Rep. Rosa DeLauro of CT. 
S. 1530 / H.R. 3115 – The Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021 would make school breakfast and lunch free for all children enrolled in public schools. Additionally, it increases the reimbursement rates, provides free afterschool and summer meals/snacks, expands summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), provides up to three meals and a snack per day for children in child care, and provides a 30-cent reimbursement for schools that procure local foods. You can find more details about this bill here and your organization can endorse this bill here. Sens. Bernie Sanders of VT and Kirstin Gillbrand of NY introduced this bill to the Senate on May 10, 2021. Reps. Ilhan Omar of MN and Gwen Moore of WI introduced it to the House on May 11, 2021.
S. 1590 – The Care for Kids Act of 2021 allows automatic eligibility for free school meals for the following groups of children: being raised by a relative who receives assistance, being raised by relatives due to placement by welfare agency, and automatically eligible for Medicaid. More detailed information can be found here. This bill was introduced in the Senate on May 12, 2021, by Sen. Casey.
S. 1831 / H.R. 3519 – The Stop Child Hunger Act of 2021 makes permanent some of the pandemic EBT card increases when schools close for five or more days for school breaks or unexpectedly and during the summer. You can sign onto a national letter by June 15th in support of this bill. This bill was introduced in the Senate and House on May 26 & 25, 2021 by Sen. Patty Murray of WA and Rep. Mike Levin of CA.
S. 1170 / H.R. 783 – The Summer Meals Act of 2021 makes improvements to access and implementation of summer meals by lowering area eligibility from 50 to 40 percent, allowing nonprofit and local government agencies to provide meals year-round through the Summer Food Service Program, allowing all sites to serve three meals, and provides grant funding for underserved outreach. As an organization, you can endorse this bill by filling out this form. This bill was introduced in the Senate on April 15, 2021, by Sens. Kirsten Gillbrand of NY and Lisa Murkowski of AK. The bill was introduced in the House on February 3, 2021, by Reps. Don Young of AK and Rick Larsen of WA.

All of these bills were either immediately referred to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee and/or the House Committee on Education and Labor. At current, these bills are early in the legislative process. It will be important to sign in support where possible as well as bring in other nationwide or local organizations in support of these bills. For more information about other hunger legislation at the federal or local level, email [email protected]

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