Thursday, March 19, 2020

Preparing for the Impacts of the Coronavirus on Health, Well-being, and Food Security

From the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) Website:
Check this page for updates on efforts to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the health, well-being and food security of low-income people.
FRAC encourages advocates to urge state agencies to apply for child nutrition waivers as needed, and to contact your Members of Congress with specific and broad requests for inclusion in any stimulus package.
For the 37 million people living in households that struggle against hunger, COVID-19 presents unique challenges. As more schools, child care centers, and older adult meal sites close, additional families will lose access to the federal nutrition and food programs that improve their nutrition, health, and well-being.
To ensure those who lack resources to stockpile food and rely on school breakfast and lunch to help feed their children nutritious food, administrators and legislators should consider the following:
  1. Adapting Disaster SNAP and disaster provisions of other federal nutrition programs to provide nutrition resources for low-income consumers and to make up for disrupted school meals service.
  2. Suspending implementation of rules changes that weaken SNAP benefits and enrollment.
  3. Increasing SNAP benefit amounts to bolster the program’s countercyclical impacts.
  4. Providing additional authority to USDA to provide child nutrition waivers. USDA is currently reporting that it cannot waive the eligibility requirements or other access limitations within the child nutrition programs.
  5. Providing additional funding and authority to HHS’s Administration for Community Living to allow for more meals as well as flexibility in meal service models for congregate and home-delivered meals.
  6. Providing additional funding and grant waiver authority to USDA to allow WIC to certify participants without being physically present at WIC clinics, and waive other administrative requirements that are barriers to serving WIC participants during the coronavirus outbreak.
Look here for updates and resources from the same source.