Blog Posts – Food Research & Action Center http://www.frac.org.php56-17.dfw3-1.websitetestlink.com Food Research & Action Center Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:17:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The YMCA is Working to Increase Participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs in North Carolina http://www.frac.org.php56-17.dfw3-1.websitetestlink.com/blog/ymca-working-increase-participation-summer-nutrition-programs-north-carolina Thu, 12 Jul 2018 14:45:01 +0000 /?post_type=blog&p=5416 This guest blog is authored by Cory Jackson, Director of Nutrition Services, YMCA of Western North Carolina. When the bell rang in June to mark the end of the school year, children from low-income families in North Carolina lost access to the school meals they relied on during the school year. The Summer Nutrition Programs […]

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This guest blog is authored by Cory Jackson, Director of Nutrition Services, YMCA of Western North Carolina.

When the bell rang in June to mark the end of the school year, children from low-income families in North Carolina lost access to the school meals they relied on during the school year. The Summer Nutrition Programs help close this gap by providing free meals to eligible children 18 and under at YMCAs, schools, churches, and libraries, among other safe sites, across the state. Not only do children stave off hunger as a result of summer meals, they also benefit from educational and recreational activities offered at the sites that keep them active, engaged, and better prepared to return to the classroom in the fall.

This summer, the YMCA of Western North Carolina is partnering with schools to provide free summer meals and programming for youth in their local communities. For many families, these summer meals are critical. “If it wasn’t for the YMCA’s summer meal program, I don’t know how I’d be able to feed my kids healthy meals each day. This program is a real lifesaver,” said a parent from Asheville.

Yet too many children in North Carolina are missing out on these important meals and engagement programs.

The Food Research & Action Center’s recently released summer meals reports found that on an average weekday in North Carolina during July 2017, the Summer Nutrition Programs served lunch to slightly more than 100,000 children, and breakfast to about 55,000 children across the state. Only one child participated in summer lunch for every six who received a free and reduced-price school lunch during the previous school year.

To further increase participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs in North Carolina, the YMCA of Western North Carolina is teaming up with Smithfield Foods and the Food Research & Action Center on the Rally Against Rural Hunger initiative to raise awareness about rural hunger, connect eligible people with federal food assistance programs (including the Summer Nutrition Programs), and help them get the necessary nutrition for their well-being and health. This is important because rural households are more likely to experience food insecurity than those in metropolitan areas, and children who live in rural areas have 26 percent greater odds of becoming obese than children in metropolitan areas.

For more information, check out the Food Research & Action Center’s Summer Nutrition Programs page and resources on rural hunger. The Summer Meal Locator can provide information on summer sites located in your area. For help with summer programs through the YMCA of Western North Carolina, contact Cory Jackson, director of nutrition services, at cjackson@ymcawnc.org.

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FRAC on the Move: Addressing Senior Hunger http://www.frac.org.php56-17.dfw3-1.websitetestlink.com/blog/frac-move-addressing-senior-hunger Tue, 03 Jul 2018 15:33:56 +0000 /?post_type=blog&p=5387 Too many seniors face challenges that get in the way of aging well. One of those challenges is not getting adequate nutrition, and, in some cases, having to choose between food and medicine. Last month, Alex Ashbrook, director of special projects at FRAC, and Erin Kee, senior program manager at the National Council on Aging […]

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Too many seniors face challenges that get in the way of aging well. One of those challenges is not getting adequate nutrition, and, in some cases, having to choose between food and medicine.

Last month, Alex Ashbrook, director of special projects at FRAC, and Erin Kee, senior program manager at the National Council on Aging (NCOA), teamed up to give a presentation, “Screening & Intervening to Address Food Insecurity Among Seniors” at a conference hosted by the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) and NCOA.

The conference, held this year in Charleston, South Carolina, drew more than 1,000 senior service providers, advocates, and researchers who are committed to supporting the nation’s growing population of seniors. The conference theme, “Building Momentum: The Future of Aging Well,” provided a perfect backdrop for the session, which focused on the role the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) plays in the health and well-being of seniors struggling against hunger.

More than 25 million Americans age 60 and over are economically insecure and struggle with rising housing and health care bills, lack of access to transportation, diminished savings, and limited job security. It is not all that surprising that 1 in 10 households with a senior struggle with food insecurity.

SNAP is a lifeline for many of these seniors. Among all SNAP households, 22 percent have at least one member who is 60 years or older.

Yet too many seniors are still missing out on the many benefits of SNAP. Less than half (42 percent) of eligible seniors participate in this critical and proven program.

FRAC shared with session attendees one key strategy for getting more seniors connected to SNAP: engage health care providers to be part of the solution. Last year, FRAC and AARP Foundation launched a free, one-hour online course to help health care providers better understand the multiple harms that food-insecure seniors may face, ways to screen older patients for food insecurity, and how to refer patients to SNAP, if needed.

By working with partners on the front lines of health care, we can make sure that every eligible senior, in every corner of the country, has access to SNAP so they may improve their nutrition and health and maintain their independence.

For more information on the course, SNAP, and senior hunger, visit FRAC.org.

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FRAC’s 2018 Summer Must-Read List http://www.frac.org.php56-17.dfw3-1.websitetestlink.com/blog/fracs-2018-summer-must-read-list Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:20:58 +0000 /?post_type=blog&p=5331 Stay informed with FRAC’s latest research, reports, and other resources that will help anti-hunger advocates keep up the good fight this summer and all year long. Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition (pdf) and Summer Breakfast (pdf) Status Reports When the school bell rings to mark the beginning of the long summer recess, millions […]

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Stay informed with FRAC’s latest research, reports, and other resources that will help anti-hunger advocates keep up the good fight this summer and all year long.

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition (pdf) and Summer Breakfast (pdf) Status Reports
When the school bell rings to mark the beginning of the long summer recess, millions of low-income children lose access to the school breakfasts and lunches they rely on during the school year. In its annual reports, FRAC measures the reach of the Summer Nutrition Programs nationally and state-by-state in July 2017, compares it to 2016, examines the impact of trends and policies on program participation, and shares best practices for increasing and expanding participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs. The summer breakfast report is a companion piece that measures the reach of summer breakfast through the Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2017.

Afterschool Suppers: A Snapshot of Participation (pdf)
Nearly 1.1 million low-income children benefited from afterschool suppers in October 2016, up from just 200,000 in October 2011. In its first-ever report on participation data in the Afterschool Nutrition Programs, FRAC measures the reach of the Afterschool Supper Program, focusing on participation in October 2016, nationally and in each state. Based on a variety of metrics, this report examines the impacts of trends and policies on afterschool supper program participation and is essential reading as schools gear up for the 2018–2019 school year.

Rural Hunger Series
FRAC, with the support of Smithfield Foods, released a series of fact sheets on rural hunger as part of the Rally Against Rural Hunger initiative, which is an effort to raise awareness about rural hunger and to connect eligible rural people across the country with federal food assistance programs so they may get the nutrition they need for their health and well-being. The foci of these resources are on rural hunger in the areas of SNAP, school breakfast, afterschool meals, and summer meals.

SNAP Benefits Need To Be Made Adequate, Not Cut Or Restricted (pdf)
Imagine you are one of the more than 40 million Americans who rely on SNAP to put food on the table and you need to stretch the average monthly allotment to achieve a minimally adequate diet. Now imagine being told you can only buy certain items. That’s what will happen if some policymakers have their way and restrict certain foods from being purchased through SNAP. Despite SNAP’s long list of achievements, numerous, sometimes contradictory efforts to restrict food choice have been proposed, but there are better policy solutions to improve SNAP beneficiaries’ health.

ResearchWire (pdf)
This e-newsletter by FRAC focuses on the latest research and reports from a variety of sources (such as government agencies, academic researchers, think tanks, and other areas) that look at the intersection of food insecurity, poverty, the federal nutrition programs, and health. In the April issue, research highlights include the antipoverty effects of SNAP, cost-related medication nonadherence for older adults participating in SNAP between 2013–2015, and much more.

Be sure to bookmark FRAC Chat for your daily dose of reading material all year long.

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Summer Programs and Meals Key to Student Success http://www.frac.org.php56-17.dfw3-1.websitetestlink.com/blog/summer-programs-meals-key-student-success Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:49:28 +0000 /?post_type=blog&p=5242 FRAC’s Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Report released this week finds that just over 3 million children received a lunch through the Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2017, a small decrease of 14,000 compared to the previous summer. Only one child out of seven received a nutritious summer lunch through the Summer Nutrition […]

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FRAC’s Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Report released this week finds that just over 3 million children received a lunch through the Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2017, a small decrease of 14,000 compared to the previous summer. Only one child out of seven received a nutritious summer lunch through the Summer Nutrition Programs when compared to the 20 million children who participated in free and reduced-price school lunch during the 2016–2017 regular school year.

Additionally, FRAC’s Summer Breakfast Status Report, a companion piece to the summer lunch report, found that even fewer children — only 1.6 million — received a summer breakfast. This is a slight decrease (by nearly 19,000 children) from July 2016.

The small decreases in both summer lunch and summer breakfast participation in 2017, combined with the larger decrease in 2016 (-153,000 fewer children reached by summer lunch and -78,000 by summer breakfast), demonstrate that the Summer Nutrition Programs still have much room to grow.

One of the primary reasons for the low participation is the lack of summer programming for low-income children, which provide an important foundation on which strong summer meals programs can be built. To effectively move the needle on summer meals and boost summer breakfast and lunch participation, there must be more programs in low-income communities that offer activities and meals. More investment of public dollars at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as private funding, are needed.

In these reports, FRAC sets ambitious, but achievable, goals for both meal types. For lunch, FRAC challenges states to reach 40 children with the Summer Nutrition Programs for every 100 participating in school lunch. The Summer Nutrition Programs served only 15 children for every 100 low-income children who participated in the National School Lunch Program during the regular school year. For breakfast, FRAC challenges states to reach 70 children with summer breakfast for every 100 participating in summer lunch; however, states are currently serving breakfast to just over half (52.5 percent) of those children who participated in summer lunch.

If these goals were met, an additional 2 million children would eat a nutritious summer breakfast, and 5 million children would eat a nutritious summer lunch, on an average summer day; states would have received an additional $402 million in reimbursement.

Despite the decrease in participation on a national level, 15 states grew participation in summer lunch. However, these increases were modest — only three states (Georgia, Indiana, and New Jersey) saw participation grow by over 10 percent. On the summer breakfast side, 19 states increased participation, with six states increasing by over 10 percent. Check out these promising practices for expanding summer breakfast participation (pdf).

Fortunately, there is a clear path forward for building stronger Summer Nutrition Programs and reaching more children with summer breakfast and lunch. Partners from every level — the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state agencies, and anti-hunger, summer, and child advocates — must step up and work together to ensure there are enough summer programs serving children — and serving meals — so that every child returns to school well-nourished and ready to learn.

Learn more about FRAC’s work with the Summer Nutrition Programs.

Dig into the research and see how your state is doing in summer meals participation by reading the full summer nutrition and summer breakfast reports.

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FRAC’s 28th Annual Benefit Dinner, Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Two Critical Child Nutrition Programs http://www.frac.org.php56-17.dfw3-1.websitetestlink.com/blog/fracs-28th-annual-benefit-dinner-celebrates-50th-anniversary-two-critical-child-nutrition-programs Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:46:35 +0000 /?post_type=blog&p=5243 The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) hosted its annual dinner on June 6, at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. More than 300 guests representing stakeholders from all corners of the anti-hunger world attended, including anti-hunger groups, national organizations, business, labor, and the federal government. The dinner benefits FRAC’s Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, […]

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The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) hosted its annual dinner on June 6, at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. More than 300 guests representing stakeholders from all corners of the anti-hunger world attended, including anti-hunger groups, national organizations, business, labor, and the federal government. The dinner benefits FRAC’s Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, which plays a key role in expanding the availability of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and child nutrition programs.

Happy Birthday to the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program!

From left: Dr. Lynette Fraga, FRAC President Jim Weill, Eleanor Clift, FRAC Board Chair Judy Whittlesey, and Jodi Grant © Food Research & Action Center

This year’s dinner celebrated the 50th anniversary of two landmark child nutrition programs: the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ] and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

From left: Eleanor Clift, Dr. Lynette Fraga, and Jodi Grant © Food Research & Action Center

Eleanor Clift of The Daily Beast moderated a conversation with Jodi Grant, executive director of Afterschool Alliance, and Dr. Lynette Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware of America, which highlighted the importance of these programs in supporting the healthy growth and development of millions of children.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) © Food Research & Action Center

“Children can’t learn if they don’t eat.” — Rep. Bobby Scott

In his remarks, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), ranking member on the House committee with jurisdiction over the child nutrition programs, shared reasons why the child nutrition programs are so effective and why he sees the entitlement as a key component of the programs, and why that structure must be defended, including avoiding annual appropriation fights and allowing the programs to grow when the economy gets worse and there is more need.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) © Food Research & Action Center

In a rousing speech, Rep. McGovern, ranking member on the House subcommittee with jurisdiction over SNAP, excoriated Members of Congress who voted “Yes” on the House Farm Bill, H.R. 2 — a bill that would “cause millions of people to lose their SNAP benefits, and, as a result, struggle more than they already do to put food on the table for themselves and their children.”

“[I am] bothered by the constant scapegoating of poor people.” — Rep. Jim McGovern

“We need to find that common ground again … We need to care more … This country needs to do better.” — Rep. Jim McGovern

FRAC President Jim Weill © Food Research & Action Center

“The fact that a new Poor People’s Campaign has to occur in 2018 says much about our need for moral revival … and about how, despite the enormous progress we’ve made in 50 years, so much more needs to be done.” — FRAC President Jim Weill

FRAC President Jim Weill recognized the progress that has been made in reducing hunger in this country, but also acknowledged how much work remains to be done to end hunger for everyone in America. #endhungernow

FRAC Thanks Three Board Members for Their Service

From left: FRAC Board Chair Judy Whittlesey, Molly Fogarty (for Louise Hilsen), Marshall Matz, Dagmar Farr, and FRAC President Jim Weill                                                             © Food Research & Action Center

FRAC Board Chair Judy Whittlesey honored retiring FRAC board members Dagmar Farr, Louise Hilsen, and Marshall Matz for their leadership and service in the fight against hunger.

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