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

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, and Bailey Ashbaker, Senior Policy Analyst and Engagement Specialist

Federal Public Health Emergency Extended 

The federal public health emergency has been extended through January 11, 2023. At this time, we do not anticipate the emergency declaration will be extended past 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. 

SNAP Cost of Living Adjustment in Effect 

This month, the cost-of-living adjustment to SNAP benefits went into effect, increasing SNAP benefits by 12.5%. 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. 

White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health 

In case you missed it – Hunger Free Oklahoma had the honor of attending the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in person last month. In addition to attending the event, several of our commitments to specific actions to end hunger were featured in a fact sheet released by the White House.  


Hungry for Action Speaker Series Policy Session Last Month 

Earlier this month HFO hosted the fourth in our Hungry for Action Speaker Series, entitled, “From Advocacy to Action: A Hunger Policy Primer.” The session featured lively discussion from all of our panelists, including fielding insightful questions from attendees. Click here to view the recording (content begins after the 11:10 mark). 

Policy Session Panelists: 

  • Ty Jones Cox, Vice President for Food Assistance, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 
  • Abi Fain, Director of Policy and Government Relations, Intertribal Agriculture Council 
  • Chris Bernard, Executive Director, Hunger Free Oklahoma 

Stay tuned for our next session, “From Soil Stomach: Building an Equitable Food System” on November 15. Join us to learn from anti-hunger leaders and communities doing the work to build equitable food systems and learn how you can start this work in your own community. This session will feature: 

  • A presentation on data and food equity from Lauren Hall, Research Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 
  • A panel discussion moderated by Ahniwake Rose, Director of Public Health and Policy for the National Indian Health Board. 
  • Panelist: Erin Martin – Executive Director of FreshRx 
  • Panelist: DeBorah Boneta – CAIR Community Outreach Coordinator 
  • Panelist: Carly Griffith Hotvedt – Associate Director of Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative 

We hope to see you there. Please register here and encourage others to attend. 


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. 

P-EBT Updates 

School Year 2020–2021 Benefits:
Families who filled out the review form on Oklahoma State Department of Education’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 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. Benefits for those who were missed in the original August 2022 issuance and filled out this form are beginning to be issued. 

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