Summer food program loses ground for third year

Participation in federally funded summer nutrition programs, which provide meals for low-income children when school is out of session, is down by 10 percent since 2015, said the anti-hunger Food Research and Action Center in a report today. Work in Congress to update USDA’s child …

New report finds rate of ‘food hardship’ has risen since 2016

A new report from the Food Research and Action Center found that the food hardship rate for households across the country has increased from 15.1 percent in 2016 to 15.7 percent in 2017. The rate increase was higher for households with children, from 17.5 percent to 18.4 percent. The study comes as wages remain stagnant, despite falling unemployment.

Second year of decline in summer meals participation

Nearly three-fourths of meals served in school lunch programs — 22 million on an average school day — are eaten by poor children. But when the school year ends, only about one in seven of those children gets a meal through the USDA’s summer nutrition programs.

Participation in summer meals program drops for first time in five years

Some 3 million school-age children participated in USDA's summer nutrition program in 2016, down 5 percent from the previous year and the first decline after four years of significant growth, said the antihunger Food Research and Action Center. The program, which provides a daily meal, reaches a much smaller group of low-income children than the school lunch program, about one in seven.

Food stamp enrollment down in nine of last 12 months

Some 43.2 million people received food stamps in the latest count, equal to 13 percent of Americans, say USDA data that show enrollments dropped in nine of the last 12 months. The antihunger group Food Research and Action Council said participation fell by 2.15 million people in the 12 months ending last October, the most recent month available.

Summer food program plateaus at 3.2 million children

Fewer than one of six eligible children takes part in the summer food program, a participation rate that plateaued in 2015 after three years of steady growth, says the Food Research and Action Center in a report released today. The anti-hunger group said Congress should expand the program as part of the pending update of child-nutrition programs costing $23 billion a year, headlined by school lunch.

Speaker Ryan calls for ‘flexibility’ in school-food programs

In the first plank of an election-year policy agenda, Speaker Paul Ryan said congressional Republicans "are producing reforms in federal policies that will give states, schools and local providers the flexibility they need to provide children access to healthy meals."

Lowest food-hardship rate in seven years

Some 15.8 percent of U.S. households say there were times in the past year when they were unable to buy food that they or their families needed, according to the anti-hunger group Food Research and Action Center.

House budget converts food stamps into a block grant

The House Budget Committee called for a nominal $1 billion cut over a 10-year period in the USDA's mandatory programs, including crop insurance and food stamps, and the conversion of food stamps into a block grant program in fiscal 2021. The block-grant idea has been a feature of House Republican budget proposals in previous years. The committee provided few details on the latest iteration, which was given three paragraphs in the its 43-page document, "A balanced budget for a strong America."