CHC works with allied organizations to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal #1: To cut in half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger between 1990 and 2015.
CHC staff also cooperate with allied organizations to shape new policy initiatives. In 2008 and 2009, CHC cooperated with over 40 organizations to help write The Roadmap to End Global Hunger. This seminal vision document influenced the Obama Administration’s current strategy to end global hunger, the Feed the Future (FTF) initiative. The Roadmap was updated in 2012 and a Roadmap Policy Brief released in 2015.
Through Feed the Future, the Obama Administration is demonstrating strong U.S. leadership in confronting global hunger. FTF seeks to enable poor farmers to produce more food, increase household income, and improve the nutrition of their children in critical growth years.
CHC is working in coalition with partner organizations to support Feed the Future by:
CHC supports the Obama Administration’s goal of ending childhood hunger. CHC previously joined other national anti-hunger organizations in providing recommendations for a Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger. We are currently engaged in implementing those legislative and regulatory recommendations.
CHC will focus on protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and on maintaining the 2010 School Lunch nutrition standards and expansion of the Summer Meals Program through the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR).
The U.S. House passed an FY16 Budget Resolution that contained a block grant proposal for SNAP. This proposal would end the entitlement status for SNAP and cut benefits by $127 billion over a 10 year period. SNAP is the only federal nutrition program available to all low-income people and expansion of this program to all eligible individuals is a key strategy for achieving President Obama’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015. (More than 50 % of current SNAP participants are children.)
CHC opposes a block grant for SNAP because it would drastically reduce benefits and end the entitlement status of the program. Currently, if applicants meet SNAP eligibility criteria, they are guaranteed (entitled) to programs benefits. CHC expects broad bipartisan support for its opposition to a block grant for SNAP in the Senate.
In response to concerns regarding obesity, amendments have been proposed to recent Farm Bill and Health Care Reform legislation that would require the Secretary of Agriculture to develop a nationally approved list of “good foods” and “bad foods.” SNAP participants would be denied the opportunity to purchase any food item on the “bad food” list using SNAP funds.
CHC opposes limiting food choice for SNAP participants. Anti-hunger advocates have worked hard to eliminate “stigma” in SNAP by making food purchases through electronic benefit transactions (EBT cards). Eliminating food choice would reinstitute stigma in SNAP. Additionally, USDA research indicates that the diets of SNAP participants are generally comparable to the diets of Americans of similar economic means, and that Americans of all income groups need to improve their diets1. Finally, the cost of reprogramming computers and retraining grocery store staff for the hundreds of thousands of food items in stores seem inappropriate and not in the interest of treating low income people fairly.
The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 reauthorized the major child nutrition programs and contained important improvements and expansions. CHC filed comments in support of the USDA regulation providing 6 cents in increased reimbursements for school lunches that provided more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lower-fat dairy products. The School Nutrition Association sought a one-year delay in the field regulation of these standards in the FY15 Agriculture Appropriations bill. CHC and the entire nutrition and health community opposed the request. Congress rejected the delay on the standards but did modify whole grain and sodium provisions. USDA reports that over 90 percent of schools are currently implementing the 2010 school lunch nutrition standards.
CHC strongly encourages USDA to find more financial support for the school breakfast program. Reauthorization contained new requirements for improving the nutritional quality of school breakfast, but provided no increased reimbursement for these meals.
CHC will be monitoring the nationwide expansion of the after school supper program and the removal of barriers to participation to the Summer Meals Program. We also support legislation to expand the Summer Meals Program in the 2015 CNR.
1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Research, Nutrition and Analysis. (2008). Diet Quality of Americans by Food Stamp Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004. Report No. FSP-08-NH. Retrieved from www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/NHANES-FSP.pdf