Food Research and Action Council
Dec 05, 2016

FRACTens of millions of people rely on the federal nutrition programs each day to help them feed themselves and their families. These programs are miracles of public policy – they fight hunger, improve nutrition, provide economic stability, and combat obesity.

These attributes have earned the nutrition programs broad bipartisan public and policymaker support that makes further gains possible. In its article, “10 Successes [and] 10 Challenges in American Society,” the National Journal describes the SNAP/Food Stamp program as “a government reform that worked.”

To build better nutrition programs, FRAC works at the national, state and local level to make needed policy changes and to improve awareness of options that can broaden participation and improve benefits. These are all key steps toward the goal of ending hunger and improving nutrition, but FRAC also believes that it is important to examine the federal nutrition programs and the role they play in improving the quality of people’s lives.

To learn more about hunger in America, visit FRAC's website at:

Upcoming Events & Trainings

Register for the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, March 5-7, 2017* Registration is now open for the 2017 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, which will include two days of training, interactive workshops, networking; and a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. A number of sessions will focus on strategies for implementing and running successful afterschool and summer programs.

Pre-Conference Training on the new Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meal Standards will be on March 4, 2017, 8:30–5:00. This training is designed for those sponsoring CACFP and will provide the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to implement the new healthier meal patterns successfully. This innovative, interactive full-day course will be provided by expert trainers from the Institute of Child Nutrition and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

To learn more and register, visit the conference website:

FRAC's Afterschool Meals Matter Call - New CACFP Meal Standards and the Afterschool Meal Program
Thursday, December 15, 1 p.m. Eastern
Register here:

USDA recently issued rules updating the nutrition standards for meals served through CACFP. Afterschool programs providing meals through CACFP must have the new meal pattern in place by October 1, 2017 - but programs shouldn't wait until then to start making healthy changes! Join this call to understand and plan for the new meal pattern and identify supporting nutrition enrichment activities to empower families, support staff, and engage children.

FRAC/SNA Webinar: Leveraging Funds and Partnerships to Bring Healthier Afterschool Meals to Your Schools
Wednesday, December 21, 2 p.m. Eastern
Register here:

Schools are a natural fit for operating the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program with the food service experience, established systems, and educational programming already in place to support successful implementation. By acting as a sponsor, vendor, site, or partnering with community partners, schools can play a huge role in ensuring children have access to the healthy meals they need when school is out, while also bringing in more federal reimbursement to support overall operations. Hear from presenters on how to build stronger, more sustainable afterschool meal programs by engaging community partners and serving healthy, kid-friendly meals.

FRAC/YMCA National Anti-Hunger Support Series - Healthy Meals for Kids Year-Round - It's Easier Than You Think!
Tuesday, January 17, 1 p.m. Eastern
Register here:

When the school day ends, millions of children across the country lose access to the school meals that help keep them engaged and ready to learn. The Summer and Afterschool Meal Programs can fill this gap. These federally funded child nutrition programs provide year-round access to healthy, nutritious meals - and it's not as hard as you think to get started! From anti-hunger advocates to youth-serving providers, everyone has a role to play in building successful summer and afterschool meal programs. Join this webinar to learn how to become an anti-hunger champion - from planning for success, to engaging stakeholders and unique partners, to building meal programs from the ground up.

Resources From Last Call and Webinar

FRAC's Summer Meals Matter Call - Reducing Food Waste and Serving Kid-Friendly Meals* Listen to the recording: (mp3).

Speakers: Jimmy Nguyen, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS); Kaye Knudson, North Dakota Department of Education; Angelia Nava, Pittsburg Unified School District

Resource: USDA Webinar - Using Donated Foods in the Summer Meals Program

FRAC's Afterschool Meals Matter Call - Cities Operating and Supporting the Afterschool Nutrition Programs* Listen to the recording (mp3).

Speakers: Susan Gallo, City of Denver; Eloisa Martinez, City of Albuquerque; Terri Kerwawich, City of Philadelphia; Jim Williamson, Nashville After Zone Alliance

Resource: Fueling Our Children for Success: The Role of Cities in Reducing Child Hunger (pdf).

News, Tools, and Resources

New Resource From FRAC and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation: Plan for Success - Afterschool Meal Programs and the Updated CACFP Meal Pattern* Reimbursable meals and snacks served through CACFP must meet federal nutrition standards. USDA recently issued rules (pdf) updating the nutrition standards for meals served through CACFP. This resource provides a roadmap for sites and sponsors to understand and plan for the new meal pattern and information on nutrition enrichment activities to empower families, support staff, and engage children.

Program Policy Updates

Purchasing Goods and Services Using Cooperative Agreements, Agents, and Third-Party Services* USDA-FNS issued a memorandum that provides general guidance on the various procurement groups USDA-FNS has identified, how to use each group in a way that complies with federal procurement standards, and supersedes SP 35-2012, Procuring Services of Purchasing Cooperatives, Group Purchasing Organizations, Group Buying Organizations, etc., dated June 12, 2012. This memorandum applies to all child nutrition program operators. Learn more here

Meal Service During Unanticipated School and Day Care Closures* USDA-FNS issued guidance on serving meals during unanticipated school and day care closures. This memo clarifies that meals can be served through the Summer Food Service Program or the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option during unexpected school closures, including snow days, during the regular school year. Learn more here (pdf).

USDA Newsletter - November

Take a look at USDA's Summer Meals Newsletter to learn ways you can engage schools in expanding participation in, and awareness of, the Summer Nutrition Programs. This month's newsletter also provides tips for reaching migrant students. Read the sponsor newsletter here (pdf) and the state agency newsletter here (pdf).

Grant Opportunities 

Voices for Healthy Kids - Grant Opportunity * The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are working to create a culture of health through Voices for Healthy Kids. This opportunity funds strategic issue advocacy efforts focused on helping kids grow up at a healthy weight through state, local, and tribal public policy campaigns. The duration of these grants will vary but will generally be one year or less. Awards of up to $90,000 are available. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign focused on changing public policy in one state, local, or tribal geographic location and must align with one of the Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities

Learn more and access the application details here

USDA Now Accepting Applications for FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Funding* In this funding cycle, USDA anticipates awarding approximately $5 million in grant funding to support efforts that improve access to local foods in schools, which includes school-based summer and afterschool meal programs and school-sponsored community sites. Grant funds will be made available on a competitive basis, subject to availability of federal funds. Applicants may apply for a Planning grant, Implementation grant, Support Service grant, or Training grant. Planning grant awards will range from $20,000–$45,000; Implementation grants and Support Service grant awards will be from $65,000–$100,000. To learn more, visit USDA's grant page [ ].

Grants to Cities in Alabama, California, and Kansas to Support Summer and Afterschool Meal Programs - RFPs Due December 14, 2016 * With support from the Walmart Foundation, the National League of Cities and FRAC have launched the fourth round of Cities Combating Hunger through the Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs (CHAMPS). In this round, CHAMPS will take a new state-based approach and work with cities in Alabama, California, and Kansas to develop and implement strategies to increase children's access to the federally funded Summer and Afterschool Meal Programs. Grants for this round have been awarded to the following cities so far: Mobile, AL; Tuskegee, AL; Huntsville, AL; Stockton, CA; Glendale, CA; Lawrence, KS; Wichita, KS; and Kansas City, KS. To learn more about CHAMPS and access the RFP, visit the project website