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State Capitol ceiling

Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy (January 2023)

As the current Congress nears its end, federal lawmakers are negotiating one final spending package that could impact food security programs. At the time of writing, the just-released mega-bill includes:

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White House conference

The Work Continues into 2023

We at Hunger Free Oklahoma are reflecting on 2022 with gratitude for you and so many others who continued to press on with us in the movement to end hunger across our state and our nation.

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

As the current Congress nears its end, federal lawmakers are negotiating one final spending package that could impact food security programs. At the time of writing, the just-released mega-bill includes:

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Hunger Free Oklahoma Applauds Permanent Child Nutrition Investments in Omnibus

Congress is on the cusp of advancing a critical end-of-year omnibus spending package that will make two much-needed, though limited, improvements to federal child nutrition programs.

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Traveling Together Toward Food Justice

Over the past few months as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow, I have found that when I tell people that I work at Hunger Free Oklahoma (HFO), they often ask the same question. “So, do you give people food?” Answering “no” tends to make explaining my job more complicated, but it also provides an opportunity for a conversation about a more holistic view of what anti-hunger work can—and does—look like.  

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Hunger Free Oklahoma Secures $14.2 Million Grant to Increase Access to Fruits and Vegetables in Oklahoma Food Deserts

“Collectively, this support will allow us to make Double Up Oklahoma the largest nutrition incentive program in the region. More importantly, this grant allows us to make sure more communities have access to fresh fruits and vegetables and more Oklahomans have the resources they need to make healthy choices,” – Chris Bernard

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

The Oklahoma legislature will have 15 new members of the House of Representatives and eight new members of the Senate. This means that 22% of the legislature will be new members come next session. Hunger Free Oklahoma will focus on educating new and returning legislators alike on the landscape of food security issues and policies. 

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Senate Floor

The Elections Are Over: What Now?

The TV ads have stopped. The billboards are coming down. The unsolicited text messages and calls have slowed (or switched topics, at least). The 2022 election season has, largely, come to an end. Aside from this brief reprieve from electioneering, what happens now? Let’s break down what the aftermath of an election looks like and what it means for advocates at every level.

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

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. 

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Hunger Free Oklahoma Commitment to Expand Access to Affordable Food Highlighted at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

“Collectively, this support will allow us to make Double Up Oklahoma the largest nutrition incentive program in the region. More importantly, this grant allows us to make sure more communities have access to fresh fruits and vegetables and more Oklahomans have the resources they need to make healthy choices,” – Chris Bernard

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State Capitol ceiling

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

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health  We are extremely proud and honored to share that our Executive Director, Chris Bernard, received an invite to attend the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in person on behalf of Hunger Free Oklahoma. This […]

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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 […]

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

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy Child Nutrition Program Reauthorization The House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Rep. Bobby Scott introduced legislation last week to modernize childhood anti-hunger programs through H.R. 8450, the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act. Though H.R. 8450 still needs to move through the legislative process, this represents […]

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

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy Child Nutrition Program Waivers Congress took an important step last week to combat childhood hunger with the announcement of a long-awaited agreement to extend child nutrition waivers. The bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act by Senate Committee on Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman […]

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Hunger Free Oklahoma Applauds Child Nutrition Flexibilities in Keep Kids Fed Act 

“Congress took an important step yesterday to combat childhood hunger with the announcement of an agreement to protect access to school and summer meals through the introduction of the bipartisan Keep the Kids Fed Act by Senate Committee on Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR), along with House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA 03) and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R NC-5).

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

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy 2022 Legislative Session Regular Session: The regular legislative session adjourns this week. The legislature completed their work on the budget last week and sent the budget bills, along with many additional bills, to the governor’s desk. Below is a brief update on a couple of […]

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

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy 2022 Legislative Session The state legislative session will adjourn in the next month. There are approximately 1,000 bills (down from about 5,000) still moving through the process following the recent legislative deadlines. An average of about 19% of bills filed ultimately make it to the […]

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

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy 2022 Legislative Session The state legislative session is almost at the halfway point, with the second major deadline this week. There are approximately 1,400 bills (down from about 5,000) still moving through the process following the first committee hearing deadline. About 19% of bills filed […]

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

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy 2022 Legislative Session Legislative session is now underway, with both chambers primarily focused on committee work through March 3. Legislators requested a total of 3,019 bills ahead of this legislative session. New bill requests, combined with carryover bills from the 2021 legislative session, means there […]

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OK Local

Oklahoma Lawmakers Join LOCAL Coalition on Visit to Grocery Store Utilizing “Double Up Oklahoma” Program

The Lift Oklahoma Communities, Agriculture, and Lifestyles (LOCAL) Coalition is seeking ways to expand the DUO program across the state through a stronger public/private partnership.

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Chris Testimony

Hunger Free Oklahoma Executive Director Testifies at Congressional House Committee on Rules Roundtable on Rural Hunger

Chris Bernard, Hunger Free Oklahoma’s executive director, was invited to testify at a congressional roundtable, along with four other experts from across the nation, as part of an effort to examine the issue of hunger in rural America.

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Hunger Free Oklahoma Receives Critical Investment from National Anti-Hunger Organization

As the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Hunger Free Oklahoma (HFO) is one of 52 organizations selected to receive funding through a critical $2.5 million investment from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. The national anti-hunger organization’s partnership grants will help stem the tide in persistent food insecurity that was exacerbated by pandemic-related shutdowns.

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Hunger Free Oklahoma Secures USDA Grant to Address Reduced Access to Fruits and Vegetables Due to COVID-19

The USDA announced that Hunger Free Oklahoma was 1 of 35 recipients nationally to be awarded a Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program COVID-19 Relief and Response (GusCRR) grant of $650,000 to continuing the DUO program at farmers markets and grocery stores and allowing expansion to high-need areas across the state for the next year.

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HFO Applauds USDA for Modernizing SNAP Benefit Amounts for the First Time Since 1975 to More Accurately Reflect Costs of a Healthy Diet

Hunger Free Oklahoma applauds the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), USDA Secretary Vilsack, and President Biden for implementing the directives of the 2018 Farm Bill by re-evaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) based on current data and economics. The update to the TFP leads to a more than 25 percent increase in benefit amounts for Oklahoma SNAP participants, a long overdue increase needed to more accurately reflect the costs incurred by low income families trying to meet their nutritional needs.

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Working together for a hunger free Oklahoma.

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