The Healthy,Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA)


food-assistanceBy: Nikki Nies

In December of 2010, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (P.L. 111-296), which is valid until September 2015. While this act reauthorizes many child nutrition programs–National School Lunch and Breakfast program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Summer Food Service Program, the Afterschool Meal Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), many are not as familiar with the importance or impact it has on many American lives.

Highlights:

  • Increases after school Meal Program to all 50 American states
  • Supporting improvements to direct certification for school meals to reduce red tape in helping children obtain school meals
  • Allows state WIC agencies the option to certify children for up to one yea
  • Mandates WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) implementation nationwide by October 1, 2020
  • Improving area eligibility rules so more family child care homes can use the CACFP program
  • Enhancing the nutritional quality of food served in school-based and preschool settings
  • Making “competitive foods” offered or sold in schools more nutritious

This act provided an additional $4.5 billion for these funded assistance programs.  With September 2015 quickly approaching, what will be the fate of HHFKA? The most recent passing of this Act had its own troubles with Congress having to figure out how to pay for the increased investments through offsets. After the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, there were struggles of offsets to cover new costs that were required to break filibusters of legislation in the Senate.  Additionally, many congressional leaders find the distribution of SNAP funds is counterproductive in the big picture goal of solving world hunger.

HHFKA may not be the most glamorous topic to talk about at dinner, but it’s very worth noting.

Photo Credit: Single Mommie

Sources: http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/July-2014/The-Healthy-Hunger-Free-Kids-Act-A-Top-10-List/

http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/healthy-hunger-free-kids-act

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Child_Nutrition_Fact_Sheet_12_10_10.pdf

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/s3307

http://www.letsmove.gov/first-lady-column-healthy-hunger-free-kids-act

http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/healthy-hunger-free-kids-act-of-2010-summary.aspx

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