On Friday, May 18, the US House rejected the Farm Bill (H.R.2), a bill that contained significant cuts to the SNAP program and costly, bureaucratic new requirements on SNAP recipients. However, the House is scheduled to vote again on the bill on June 22 – so our work is not done! There are also new amendments to the bill make the SNAP cuts even more harmful than before.
See our new report; Farm Bill Cuts to SNAP Will Increase Hunger In New York State, which outlines the proposed cuts to SNAP benefits in the bill and the impact these cuts will have on families across New York State. It is clear that the Farm Bill will increase hunger in every congressional district including rural, urban and metro areas of our state.
We will be sending regular email updates with timely information to help you, and your networks keep up to date on the Farm Bill, SNAP and what you can do to protect SNAP from cuts that could increase hunger in New York! If you are interested in receiving these updates, you can update your email settings and select SNAP E-News.
Building on 50 Years of Success: Assessing CACFP Afterschool Meals Participation and Potential
Hunger Solutions New York is conducting a statewide survey of school administrators and school food authorities to assess current participation and potential for growth in afterschool nutrition programs. Please share the short survey (~7 minutes) with schools you are connected to; your contributions will assist efforts to improve access to afterschool meals among students in low-income communities.
This effort comes as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) celebrates its 50th anniversary. On May 8, Hunger Solutions New York joined a national celebration of CACFP, which provides reimbursement funding for healthy meals and snacks served in afterschool and daycare settings. To celebrate, we shared stories and photos from several current CACFP sponsors, including those featured on AfterschoolMealsNY.org and in our recent afterschool meals webinar, and continued to champion an increase in participation among eligible schools, programs, and providers.
School Meals – Act Now:
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
Community Eligibility is a powerful tool that enables schools to address hunger. CEP improves student access to healthy school meals and simplifies the administrative process so that school meal programs can operate efficiently and provide higher-quality meals. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is now accepting applications from schools that want to participate in CEP for the 2018-19 school year. Applications for the 2018-19 school year must be submitted by June 30, 2018, and must be based on April 1, 2018 enrollment and 2017-18 Direct Certification data.
- CEP is a federal option available to any school, group of schools or district that has 40% or more students who are certified for free school meals by means other than a school meal application.
- CEP simplifies administrative processes, reduces labor costs, and improves efficiency by eliminating free and reduced-price meal applications, which can be confusing for families and burdensome for schools.
- CEP increases student participation by removing stigma and eliminating the issue of unpaid school meal fees.
- CEP makes it easier to offer Breakfast After the Bell when schools no longer need to collect fees or count each meal served by fee category.For more information or assistance with CEP applications, contact Jessica Pino-Goodspeed.
Let’s Reach More Kids and Teens this Summer!
Most communities need more places where kids and teens can access healthy summer meals and need help to get the word out about the meal sites that will be available. Hunger Solutions New York can help. Again this year, we’ve partnered with NYSED to create new yard signs that match these banners for sites to welcome kids and teens to their location. Summer meals sponsors can order directly from the NYSED website using their sponsor account. Community-based organizations may request other outreach materials as well from NYSED. Visit SummerMealsNY.org for the order form and more resources such as web buttons, flyers, texting, and social media templates.
Summer meals sponsors – Thank you for all your work to feed more kids this summer! As you’re finalizing plans for this summer, consider the possibility of adding more local sites in underserved areas. Undertapped places that make terrific summer meals sites include libraries, housing communities, and summer enrichment programs!
Did you know?
Farmers’ Markets Accepts SNAP Benefits!
Many low-income New Yorkers lack access to a supermarket that stocks a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers’ markets help to fill that gap. Many markets are located in areas where there is no nearby supermarket, and a large number of markets across New York State accept SNAP benefits, according to the Farmers Market Federation of New York.
The Nutrition Outreach and Education Program, managed by Hunger Solutions New York, provides free, confidential SNAP information, education, prescreening and application services to low-income New Yorkers. NOEP Coordinators can also provide information on how to use SNAP benefits at a farmers’ market.