GardenShare

GardenShare

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

SENATE CHILD NUTRITION BILL HUNG UP ON VERIFICATION


One provision has hung up a Senate vote to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act. The provision aims to strengthen the process school districts must use to ensure that only poor and near-poor children get their meals free or at very low cost. Now, districts must verify the family incomes of 3,000 of the applications they’ve approved — or 3% if that’s less. The revised version would establish a sliding scale, generally beginning at 10,000 or 10% and ratcheting down to the current minimum, based on several performance measures. One sticking point is the sheer number of applications school districts must begin with. Another is that the bill enlarges the pool from which the applications must be pulled to include families that don’t have to apply in order for their kids to get free meals, such as those who receive SNAP and those with foster kids. But schools may not be able to get all their parents to verify their incomes. The families may have no fixed address or not read English well enough to understand a verification notice. And, because the bill would allow states to provide low-income parents with $30 a month to partly compensate for their higher food costs during the summer, these children — and all their family members — could also lose out on meals when school isn’t in session during the summer.

Source: Poverty & Policy, 10/11/16, Child Nutrition Bill