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Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy (August 2022)

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy

Child Nutrition Program Reauthorization

The House Committee on Education and Labor passed H.R. 1850 out of committee on July 27, 2022. The reauthorization package is now eligible to be heard on the House floor, but an exact timeline is not clear at this point. The Senate had an opportunity to include Child Nutrition Reauthorization provisions in the budget reconciliation (Inflation Reduction Act) but chose to leave these provisions out of the package. While Child Nutrition Reauthorization has a path forward in the House, it faces greater hurdles in the Senate. As a reminder, here are some of the provisions that will impact Oklahoma the most.

What advocates can do: Please contact both your House and Senate members and tell them to prioritize passing Child Nutrition Reauthorization before the end of the year.

SNAP Cost of Living Adjustment

Earlier this month, the USDA announced the cost-of-living adjustment to SNAP benefits will be a 12.5% increase beginning in October 2022. SNAP benefits are adjusted each year based on the cost of groceries, and high inflation led to the largest cost of living adjustment in recent history. While this will provide some breathing room to families trying to stretch their grocery budgets, it only means roughly $0.20 more per person per meal.

P-EBT Updates

School Year 2020–2021 Benefits:
Families who filled out the review form on OSDE’s page are starting to receive these benefits.

School Year 2021–2022 Benefits:
Oklahoma was recently approved to operate the P-EBT program for school closures during the 2021–2022 school year. At this time, we are unsure of when these benefits will be issued.

Summer 2022 Benefits:
Oklahoma was recently approved to operate the P-EBT program for Summer 2022. Unlike school year benefits, summer benefits are a uniform amount of $391 for all qualifying children. Benefits went out at the end of July and beginning of August.

Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Forms

With Congress deciding not to extend no-cost meals to students across the country, this school year will be the first since 2019-2020 that schools will transition back to pre-pandemic operations. It is very important that families complete their schools’ Free and Reduced-Price Lunch application and turn it into your school as soon as possible. For more on this, please read our blog this month.

Federal Public Health Emergency

Last month, the federal public health emergency was extended to October 13, 2022. At this time, it is being predicted that the emergency declaration might be extended one more time (from October 2022 through January 2023), though no official action has been announced or taken yet. The end of the federal public health emergency will mean several changes to federal nutrition programs. We are tracking this very closely and will keep our partners updated with the latest information.

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