FRAC WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST
Issue #17, April 24, 2017
Breakfast After the Bell Toolkit: A Resource for Secondary School Principals - FRAC Chat, April 19, 2017
To help principals increase school breakfast participation among teens, FRAC and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) partnered to release the Secondary School Principals’ Breakfast After the Bell Toolkit (pdf). This resource assists middle and high school principals with implementing breakfast after the bell models, so that students can start their school day ready to learn.
FRAC On The Move: Aging in America - FRAC Chat, April 18, 2017
The Aging in America conference draws 3,000+ professionals each year — caregivers, advocates, and others who work with, and on behalf of, older adults. FRAC's Alex Ashbrook presented alongside experts from AARP Foundation and IMPAQ International about the importance of addressing food insecurity among seniors.
From FRAC Chat
Senior Hunger: America’s Best-Kept Secret – The Huffington Post, April 11, 2017
April is Senior Hunger Awareness Month, designated by AARP Foundation, writes Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the foundation, in this op-ed. More than 10 million American seniors face hunger every day, and food-insecure seniors are 50 percent more likely to have diabetes, 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure or a heart attack, and three times as likely to experience depression. Hunger costs the U.S. health system $130.5 billion annually. Hunger and poverty are connected, and nearly 20 million older adults do not have enough income to meet basic needs.
Hernando to provide more free meals for young students – Tampa Bay Times, March 23, 2017
Florida’s Hernando County School Board approved participation in the Community Eligibility Provision for the upcoming school year; 39 of the state’s 67 school districts have already begun serving free school meals to all students through the provision. “[A]ll the other school districts I’ve talked to have said it was one of the best decisions they have ever made,” said Lori Drenth, the district’s director of food and nutrition services. About 66 percent of Hernando’s students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.
Topeka Earns Grant to Combat Childhood Hunger — WIBW 13, April 4, 2017
FRAC and the National League of Cities awarded the City of Topeka a $35,000 Cities Combating Hunger through Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs (CHAMPS) grant. The city will conduct a summer meals marketing campaign and work to increase the number of students participating in afterschool and summer meals by 20 percent. Last year, 27 at-risk afterschool and 34 summer meal sites served more than 197,000 meals.
Cities Fight Hunger and Improve Youth Health With CHAMPS — PublicCEO, April 5, 2017
FRAC based and the National League of Cities developed the CHAMPs initiative to support city-led efforts that improve the health and well-being of low-income youth by increasing access to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) summer and after-school meal programs. California was one of three states in 2016 to receive assistance in building participation in summer and afterschool meal programs. Fewer than 20 percent of California children who received free or reduced-price school lunch also participated in summer meals in 2015. If California raised participation to 40 percent of students, the state would receive at least $40 million in federal reimbursements.
City library to offer kids free lunch during summer as part of federal feeding program – The News & Advance, April 17, 2017
Lynchburg Public Library in Virginia will offer free lunch to children through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), June 19 to July 28; the program will coincide with the library’s summer reading program. This is the library’s first year participating in SFSP, and the meals will be prepared at a Lynchburg city school and delivered to the library. “We see hungry kids,” said Beverly Blair, the library’s supervisor of youth services, “and it gets worse as the summer goes along.” Children will also be able to receive free summer meals at 21 sites through Lynchburg City Schools.
Summer and Afterschool Meal Programs
Schools Will Soon Have To Put In Writing If They ‘Lunch Shame’ – NPR, April 17, 2017
Jennifer Ramo of New Mexico Appleseed worked with Sen. Michael Padilla to write the state’s recently signed law, which bans schools from shaming children who are not able to pay for school meals. “We’re saying feed these children first, and let the grownups sort out the finances,” said Ramo. Sen. Padilla said that lawmakers across the country have reached out for information on addressing the same issues. Texas and California are working on similar legislation.
Texas children could use school food pantry, avoid lunch shaming under proposed legislation – The Dallas Morning News, April 20, 2017
Texas state Rep. Helen Giddings (D-Dallas) introduced a bill preventing school lunch shaming by ensuring students who are unable to pay for meals to receive a regular meal that does not reveal their family might be struggling financially. Giddings said she has heard that lunch shaming causes students to pretend they are not hungry and avoid the lunch line. Nearly 1 in 4 Texas children is food insecure, said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, and hungry children cannot learn. “So it is not just our moral responsibility to help feed them, but doing so is for the overall improvement of education and in turn, economics of our state,” said Cole.
School Meal Shaming
Bill Restricting Food Stamps Won’t Come Up for House Vote – U.S. News & World Report, April 18, 2017
The New Hampshire House will not be voting on a bill this session that would tighten eligibility requirements for SNAP recipients. The bill would have forced thousands of families and children to go hungry, according to Democrats. While the state senate approved the bill, many in the state, including advocates for low-income residents, demonstrated in opposition to it.
Our Turn: Food stamp bill is bad for New Hampshire families – Concord Monitor, April 15, 2017
New Hampshire’s Senate Bill 7 would eliminate SNAP benefits for 17,000 New Hampshire families, “hitting a program that only delivers needed food assistance” while taking away adequate nutrition from children, write Drs. P. Travis Harker and Doug Phelan in this op-ed. The bill would also increase state expenses as changes to the eligibility system would drive up state administrative costs. “SB 7 will also put more pressure on cities, towns and nonprofits to try to meet the nutritional needs of those 17,000 families,” note Harker and Phelan.
Fighting hunger by going to Washington, D.C. – Watertown Daily Times, April 21, 2017
More than 1,400 advocates from across the country attended the recent National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, co-sponsored by FRAC, and met with legislators on anti-hunger issues, writes Gloria McAdam, executive director of GardenShare, in this op-ed. SNAP is in danger of being turned into a block grant program, which would mean that states would not be required to provide the funds for direct benefits for food, and the block grant amount would not rise to meet hardships during economic downturns. McAdam urges readers who are not able to travel to Washington to contact their senators and representatives “to tell your story and help them understand what is going on with real people in the real world.”
A reflection on Easter in Donald Trump’s America – Cleveland.com, April 16, 2017
As he worked on his Easter Sunday sermon, Rev. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock “was struck by the sharp divide between the lessons of love, inclusion and human kindness that we teach in this season and the policy proposals and rhetoric coming out of Washington.” Republicans are proposing major cuts to SNAP “that could mean millions of children going to bed hungry,” writes Rev. Warnock in this op-ed. Two-thirds of the 47 million Americans receiving SNAP live in households with children, and the program has helped lift 2.4 million children out of poverty. Cutting benefits “will leave millions of children wondering not what is for dinner, but whether they will have any at all.”
New bill would require notifying students of CalFresh eligibility – Daily Bruin, April 12, 2017
California state assemblymember Shirley Weber introduced Assembly Bill 214, which would require the California Student Aid Commission to notify Cal Grant recipients in writing if they are eligible for SNAP (CalFresh) benefits. “A lot of low-income students have difficulty accessing anti-hunger programs because of unclearly written policies,” said Weber in a statement. The bill aims to clarify the policies and streamline student access to assistance programs. A 2016 UC Student Food Access and Security Study found that 42 percent of UC students reported a reduced quality of diet or reduced food intake in the past year.