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Hunger Free Oklahoma Applauds Permanent Child Nutrition Investments in Omnibus

Statement attributable to Chris Bernard, Hunger Free Oklahoma Executive Director

TULSA, Okla. (December 20, 2022) – 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.

  • First, this legislation will enact a permanent, nationwide Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (Summer EBT). The program reduces food insecurity and improves nutrition for children who receive free or reduced-price school meals during the school year and provides families with funds for groceries during the months when school is out of session.
  • Second, summer meal programs currently must be provided in a congregate setting, making it especially difficult to operate in rural areas. This legislation allows states to provide non-congregate summer meals for children in such areas.

We applaud Congress for making these changes. With more than a third of Oklahoma’s residents living in rural locations, Hunger Free Oklahoma and other advocates have long called for both a permanent Summer EBT program and non-congregate meal service options to better reach communities across the state.

In addition, this legislation contains two other items of note for Oklahomans.

  • The bill will help families who’ve had their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits stolen between October 2022 and September 2024 — something known as “SNAP skimming.”. The legislation allows replacement of up to two months of stolen benefits, up to two times a year per impacted household. Oklahoma has seen a rise in stolen SNAP benefits, so this means that Oklahoma families can now get some relief.
  • Disappointingly, the creation of a permanent Summer EBT program comes at the cost of ending the temporary SNAP emergency allotments earlier than anticipated. For now, families in Oklahoma and 31 other states and territories receive emergency allotments – additional monthly benefits dispersed due to the pandemic. They will face reduced monthly benefits come March, as opposed to when the federal Public Health Emergency declaration ends in April (or beyond).

Hunger Free Oklahoma will continue to push for comprehensive federal legislation to improve access to the federal nutrition programs and increase resources for low-income Oklahomans. Priorities for the 118th Congress should include modernizing and reauthorizing Child Nutrition Programs, protecting and strengthening the powerful impact of SNAP in the 2023 Farm Bill, and restoring the pandemic-era expansions to the Child Tax Credit.

Hunger Free Oklahoma appreciates the important investments made in child nutrition programs through the omnibus and encourages all members of our federal delegation to vote in support of the package.


Hunger Free Oklahoma works to leverage the power of collaboration to solve hunger in Oklahoma by improving systems, policies, and practices. Learn more at Apply for SNAP by phone: 1 (877) 760-0114.

Working together for a hunger free Oklahoma.

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