USDA Extends Critical School Lunch Waivers, but More is Needed

Hannah Yang is a law student at NYU School of Law and guest contributor on this blog.  The USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s mission is “to increase food security and reduce hunger.” As part of its mission, it oversees the National School Lunch Program, which provides free or reduced lunch for eligible students while school is in session. The Summer…

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New FBLE Backgrounder: COVID-19 Response & Farm Bill Policy

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a number of new and difficult challenges for families, farmers and other small business owners, and food producers across the country. While closures of schools, restaurants, and hotels help slow the rapid spread of infection, they have also resulted in surges in unemployment and food insecurity. Moreover, these closures cut farmers off from key markets…

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New Horizons for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Disasters and Pandemics (D-SNAP & P-SNAP)

While it’s currently a challenge not to keep up with the latest developments on COVID-19, you might not know that states have been tirelessly submitting requests to the federal government for major disaster declarations. At the time of this writing, New York, California, Washington, Louisiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Georgia, Oregon, Connecticut, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Texas, Colorado,…

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Student Series: USDA Poised to Reduce SNAP Benefits for Thousands in Third Proposed Rulemaking

Today is the last day to submit comments to USDA for its proposed changes to utilities calculations for SNAP benefits. The below student post describes the changes contemplated by USDA. Following the Senate’s rejection of the House’s proposed restrictions on enrollment to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS),…

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REPORT CARD: Food Access, Nutrition and Public Health in the Senate Farm Bill

The Senate released its draft of the 2018 Farm Bill on Friday, June 8th. This post analyzes how the Senate Farm Bill addresses FBLE’s goals and recommendations from its report, Food Access, Nutrition, and Public Health. The Senate Agriculture Committee moved the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3042) out of committee on June 13th. The Senate is voting on…

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Senate Farm Bill Adopts FBLE Recommendations; Key Concerns Remain

Senate Joins Farm Bill Fray Last Friday the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry released its draft farm bill, kicking off the Senate’s effort to pass new omnibus legislation before some provisions of the current law expire in September. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“AIA”), which arrives on the heels of the House’s failure to pass its own…

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FBLE Brings Farm Bill Recommendations to Capitol Hill

Last week 25 FBLE faculty, students, and staff descended on Capitol Hill to share our research and help Congress write a farm bill that creates opportunity for all farmers, provides a reliable safety net against hunger, and conserves the health of our shared natural resources. FBLE timed the trip to coincide with debate over the House farm bill, H.R. 2, which…

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Harvest Boxes Are a Dangerous Distraction

When the Trump administration released its FY2019 budget, which included a  plan to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), outrage ensued. The proposal would replace half of SNAP recipients’ EBT benefits with cheap, non-perishable commodity provisions. Neither Democrats nor Republicans in Congress expressed support for America’s Harvest Box. Critics attacked the proposal as mean-spirited, infeasible, unhealthy, and bad for…

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In Defense of SNAP

SNAP is already the nation’s “most effective” economic stimulus program. The political battle over the 2018 Farm Bill is already well underway and—if rhetoric from the Trump Administration is any indication—it won’t be an easy fight.  Threatening to gut $192 billion from SNAP over the next decade, the White House is proposing an unrecognizable overhaul of a program that services…

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