A ‘hungry winter’ ahead, as food insecurity remains severe

Child hunger has dipped since the summer but still remains near record levels, according to a new analysis from The Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project. With Thanksgiving around the corner, the findings point to enduring hardship and food insecurity, eight months after the first pandemic-related shutdowns began. (No paywall)

Boost SNAP benefits by 15 percent, says Fudge, potential USDA nominee

On the same day President-elect Joe Biden urged Congress to pass additional coronavirus relief, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge said on Monday “it is long past time to increase SNAP benefits by 15 percent” and devote additional funds to other public nutrition programs. Fudge, a leading …

Anti-hunger advocates expect Biden administration to bolster safety net

Anti-hunger advocates are celebrating the outcome of the presidential election, which they say creates a new opportunity to push back against escalating food insecurity in the United States — and they have plenty of ideas for what needs to be done. (No paywall)

Costa makes it a two-man race for ag gavel

Eight-term Rep. Jim Costa, who represents an agricultural district around Fresno in California's Central Valley, announced his candidacy for chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, saying the committee "should reflect the changing landscape of agriculture in the United States." As the majority party, House Democrats will select the chairman in the weeks ahead.

More than 1 million SNAP households shop online

The USDA is trying to expand online grocery shopping for SNAP recipients by adding local and regional grocers to the program, said Agriculture deputy undersecretary Brandon Lipps. The USDA said over 1 million SNAP households shopped online in September, out of more than 22 million households participating in the program.

With Trump rule, food-insecure immigrants have few options

The pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity for households across the country, but undocumented immigrants and mixed-status families have faced unique challenges. That’s in part because they’ve been excluded from the momentary salve of government relief efforts, from stimulus checks to enhanced unemployment benefits. But it also stems from the Trump administration’s hostile immigration policies and rhetoric — and notably the president’s changes to the “public charge” rule, which has led many to shy away even from benefits for which they are eligible. (No paywall)

One in five children are obese, says report

Childhood obesity continues to rise in the United States, reaching 19.3 percent at latest measurement, up by 5 percentage points for children ages 2-19 in two decades, said the annual State of Childhood Obesity report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Obesity “continues to be a national …

Judge vacates Trump rule tightening SNAP time limits

Pointing to the impact of the pandemic on the economy, a U.S. district judge vacated on Sunday a Trump administration regulation setting stricter time limits on SNAP benefits for able-bodied adults who do not work at least 20 hours a week. Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the district court for the District of Columbia said the USDA, which runs SNAP, failed to justify the regulation, which would end benefits for 700,000 people.

Perdue violated rules against politicking on the job, says ethics agency

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue violated a 1939 law against politicking on the job when he urged the re-election of President Trump at a produce packing house in North Carolina on Aug. 24 and must reimburse the government "for the costs associated with his political activity," said the U.S. Office of Special Counsel on Thursday.

Peterson, four House ag panelists oppose coronavirus bill

The Democratic-controlled House passed a $2.2-trillion-coronavirus-relief bill without the support of House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson and four other Democrats serving on the Agriculture Committee. They were among 18 Democrats who voted against the bill, which passed, 218-207; no Republicans voted for it.