June 18

A weekly publication of               6/18/2015

Did you know... 

The child nutrition programs touch the lives of millions of low-income children each day. Research demonstrates the ability of the child nutrition programs to improve educational achievement, economic security, nutrition and health. Source: http://frac.org/

Dear Pat,

Last week Every Child Matters in NH and the NH Family Assistance Advisory Council hosted a round table discussion for more than 20 social service agencies and providers with USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon 

Concannon oversees the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services program in the USDA. The programs and services under FNS include: 

  • The Child Nutrition Programs
    • School Breakfast Program
      • Served over 13.5 million school children each day, in about 90,000 schools and residential child-care facilities in 2014.
    • National School Lunch Program
      • Served over 30.3 million school children each school day in 2014, in about 100,000 schools and residential child-care facilities, about 71% of meals serve were free or at a reduced price.
    • Child and Adult Care Food Program
      • In 2014, served over 3.7 million children and seniors each day through child care institutions, family day care homes, adult day care centers, and after-school care programs.
    • Summer Food Service Program
      • The SFSP served over 2.6 million low-income children during an average day in July 2014; SFSP and school meals together served over 3.7 million low-income children during an average day that month.
    • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
    • Special Milk Program
  • WIC
    • Women, Infants, and Children
      • Served an average of 8.3 million participants each month in 2014. 
    • WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • In 2014, SNAP served an average of 46.5 million low-income people each month.
    • Participants received an average monthly benefit of $125.37.
  • Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
  • Food Distribution Programs
    • Commodity Supplemental Food Program
      • This program served about 10,000 low-income women, infants, and children, and over 563,000 low-income elderly people in an average month in 2014.
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
      • Served an average of about 85,400 low-income individuals living on or near Indian reservations each month in 2014.
      • The Emergency Food Assistance Program
      • Through this program about 758 million pounds of food were distributed through food pantries, emergency kitchens, and other emergency food providers in 2014.

For more information on any of these programs or to find out the eligibility requirements please visit the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services website by clicking HERE.

Thursday, June 18, 4pm – 5pm, Town hall meeting - Chris Christie, The Galley Hatch Restaurant 325 Lafayette Rd, Hampton, NH 03842-2202, United States

Click here to see more events in New Hampshire!

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act authorizes all of the federal school meal and child nutrition programs, which provide funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods. The child nutrition programs touch millions of children each day, and improve educational achievement, economic security, nutrition and health. 

Although the programs are permanently authorized, every five years Congress reviews the laws governing these programs through the reauthorization process; the current law, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296), is set to expire on September 30, 2015. The School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Special Milk Programs are authorized permanently, subject to Congress funding their operations. All of the other child nutrition programs could expire on September 30, 2015 without congressional action. Reauthorization provides an opportunity to improve and strengthen the child nutrition and school meal programs so they better meet the needs of our nation’s children in pre-school, school-based and out-of-school time settings.

Here’s a great report about the importance of the Child and Adult Care Food Program for growing healthy children and supporting struggling families.

How the Child and Adult Care Food Program Improves Early Childhood Education
By Christine Binder, Joel BergMaryam AdamuKatie Hamm

For many American families, finding high-quality, affordable child care is an impossible task. But it is also a necessary one, given that most families cannot afford to have a full-time, stay-at-home caregiver. Early childhood education and care programs give parents the opportunity to work, but they also have the capacity to offer important learning opportunities for children at a crucial stage of development. Unfortunately, they are too often cost prohibitive; annual child care costs are currently higher than the cost of in-state tuition and fees at public universities in more than 30 states. Furthermore, research shows that the child care options many families struggle to afford are usually of poor or mediocre quality.

One of the many tools the nation has to support low-income families and their young children is the Child and Adult Care Food Program, or CACFP. Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, and administered by states and nonprofit groups, CACFP provides snacks and meals to more than 3 million children at child care centers, family day care homes, Head Start programs, after-school programs, and homeless shelters. In 2014, the program funded nearly 2 billion meals; the vast majority of these went to children younger than 5. Subsidizing meals defrays overall child care costs for parents and contributes to children’s ability to thrive and learn. Beyond this, CACFP also has a track record of supporting healthy and safe child care environments.

The upcoming federal child nutrition reauthorization, or CNR, process provides Congress the opportunity to support early childhood through CACFP. This report makes a case for why Congress should include provisions in the CNR bill to reduce participation barriers for programs and providers and maximize the program’s potential.

Specifically, the reauthorization bill should:

  • Increase reimbursement rates to more fully cover the costs of meals
  • Reduce the CACFP area eligibility test to 40 percent of residents living below the federal poverty line, or FPL
  • Allow three meals per day in CACFP to account for the reality that many parents are now working longer and nontraditional hours
  • Reduce CACFP paperwork by expanding direct certification and reforming the complex, two-tiered reimbursement system for family child care homes
  • Bolster the use of CACFP in ensuring safe child care settings
  • Create a small pilot grant program to reward states for using CACFP to support food related costs in preschool expansion

CACFP is a relatively small program, costing $3 billion annually; this is only about 1/25th the level of the budget of the largest federal nutrition assistance program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Because CACFP plays an outsized function by leveraging resources, Congress should make a concerted effort to make the program even stronger.

Christine Binder is the Director of Child Nutrition Policy and Programs at the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Joel Berg is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Maryam Adamu is a Research Assistant for the Early Childhood Policy team at American Progress. Katie Hamm is the Director of Early Childhood Policy at American Progress.

MaryLou Beaver
New Hampshire Director
Every Child Matters Education Fund

You can help win the fight for our kids by making a tax-deductible donation to ECM in any amount at www.everychildmatters.org.

Every Child Matters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to make children a national political priority. For more information, visit www.everychildmatters.org
1023 15th St. NW Suite 401 Washington, DC 20005

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