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FRAC WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST

Issue #24, June 12, 2017

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Food Research & Action Center’s Annual Benefit Dinner Honors Anti-Hunger Champions - FRAC, June 7, 2017
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sherry Brennan, senior television executive, and Hunger Solutions Minnesota received FRAC’s 2017 Distinguished Service Award for their commitment to giving back to their communities and their advocacy around protecting and strengthening federal anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs. Each of them has benefitted from SNAP at key points in their lives.
   


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP supports ND ag production – Pierce County Tribune, June 2, 2017
The federal farm bill is vital for bringing food from North Dakota farms to households across America. SNAP is the largest section of the farm bill and it “supports our economy and keeps our families healthy and strong,” writes State Rep. Gretchen Dobervich (ND-District 11) in this letter to the editor. “Cuts to the SNAP Program pull North Dakota ag products off the dinner tables of millions of Americans.” Dobervich concludes by urging readers to contact the North Dakota congressional delegation in Washington “and tell them to support North Dakota’s farms, ranches and families by fully funding SNAP.”
   

Residents encouraged to pre-register for disaster food assistance to prepare for hurricane season – KNOE, June 5, 2017
Louisiana residents who are not receiving SNAP benefits and who have not applied for Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP) benefits are being encouraged to register for D-SNAP ahead of the 2017 hurricane season. “Spending a little time pre-registering now will save you time later, when gathering the required income information may be more difficult and you have other things to worry about,” said Marketa Garner Walters, Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services.
   

Reducing hunger among Ohio’s senior citizens – The Plain Dealer, June 6, 2017
A recent report from Ohio’s Center for Community Solutions finds that senior hunger in the state is largely due to the fact that only 40 percent of eligible seniors in Ohio receive SNAP benefits. The report estimates that 264,000 Ohio seniors are missing out on receiving funds that could help them buy groceries. “As the cost of healthcare for older adults continues to rise, Ohio must do more to connect seniors to effective nutrition programs, like SNAP,” said Rachel Cahill, the report’s author. Nearly 18 percent of Ohio residents over 60 struggle with food security.
   

State bill to encourage farmer’s markets to enter SNAP, WIC programs – The Press of Atlantic City, June 5, 2017
A bill recently approved by a New Jersey state Assembly panel would streamline the process for markets already accepting SNAP benefits to also accept benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). “Farmers market vendors should be encouraged to participate in WIC and SNAP,” said Assembly member Vincent Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), one of the bill’s sponsors, in a statement. “With more vendors participating, residents will have more farmers market options around the state for shopping.”
   

Summer Nutrition Programs

Emporia Combats childhood hunger – The Emporia Gazette, June 3, 2017
Emporia, Kansas, has been selected as one of 31 cities in Kansas, Alabama, and California to receive Combating Hunger Through Afterschool and Summer Meal Program (CHAMPS) grants, an initiative of the National League of Cities and FRAC, with support from the Walmart Foundation. Emporia will be adding a mobile meal unit to deliver summer meals this year, which “simply equates to being able to reach and provide services to more youth throughout the city,” said Shelly Kelley, Emporia community services officer. A FRAC report found that on an average weekday in 2015, nearly 3.2 million children in the U.S. received free summer meals.
   

Summer feeding program expands across Cullman County – The Cullman Times, June 2, 2017
According to the state department of education, more than 2.6 million summer meals were served to Alabama children and teens at risk of hunger at 1,100 sites, in 2016. While 4,700 Cullman County children are considered food insecure, only 2 percent of children received summer meals in the past, said Laurel Moffatt, a member of Child Hunger Corps. Across the state, the Food Bank of North Alabama, the Alabama Association of Food Banks, school districts, churches, and nonprofits are working to expand the number of summer meal sites this year.
   

When there’s no school lunch in St. Louis, food vans help fill the gap – St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 5, 2017
In St. Louis, Missouri, and St. Louis County, summer meal program leaders plan on distributing more than 100,000 summer meals to children this year; last year, about 15 percent of meals were distributed by food vans. In the past, FRAC has ranked Missouri 44th out of 50 states for low summer meal participation.
   

Economic Inequality

States with more black people have less generous welfare benefits, study says – The Washington Post, June 6, 2017
Support for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program has eroded in every state except Oregon in the last 20 years, and states with larger shares of African-Americans tend to have less generous welfare benefits, more restrictive policies, shorter eligibility periods, and stricter requirements to maintain benefits, according to a report from the Urban Institute. “I would predict, based on TANF’s history, that if we were to block grant other programs, we would see similar results, with racial differences and fewer families receiving assistance,” said Heather Hahn, one of the report’s authors.
   

From FRAC Chat

Create Hunger-Free Schools With Community Eligibility – FRAC Chat, June 7, 2017
More than 20,000 high-needs schools across the country are now offering a healthy school breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students, thanks to the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) — a game-changing opportunity for high-needs schools to end hunger, improve nutrition, and reduce paperwork. Now is the time for schools to get on board and adopt community eligibility — school districts must apply to their state agency by June 30 for the 2017–2018 school year.