Latest News and Publications
This page allows visitors to view information and documents from past Hunger Partnership meetings, access recent resources, publications and NCSL policies, and see the latest news and publications.
COVID-19 Resources: Hunger and Nutrition Programs
NCSL is tracking the hunger and nutrition programs that may have been created or modified as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Check back often for updates, announcements and additional resources.
New Rule on SNAP Work Requirements
Under previous U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) rules, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) can receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for only three months in a 36-month period, unless they work 80 hours per month. A final rule, issued Dec. 5, 2019, limits states’ ability to waive the work requirement where jobs are unavailable. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a nationwide injunction on March 13, temporarily halting the implementation of the rule.
Bringing Legislators to the Table: Addressing Hunger Through Public-Private Partnerships, November 2019
State legislators are in a unique position to tackle hunger and increase access to healthy food and work with a variety of partners on innovative projects. Legislators who are leading on nutrition and hunger issues simultaneously wear the hats of policymaker, hunger champion and community leader. As policymakers, legislators can direct and provide incentives for state agencies to implement new programs, catalyze coordination among agencies, give startup or expansion funding to promising initiatives and formally recognize organizations fighting hunger in their communities. As hunger champions, they can form legislative hunger caucuses, create days for hunger awareness and elevate the visibility of hunger through their websites and social media. As community leaders, they can bring together the public, nonprofit, corporate and foundation sectors to inspire meaningful change and imagine innovative solutions for low-income communities.
Hunger Among Older Americans, July 2019
Millions of older Americans cannot afford a healthy and active lifestyle on Social Security or pension benefits alone. Around 75 percent of seniors depend entirely, or almost entirely, on Social Security for their monthly income. The median income of men 65 and over was $27,612 in 2012 and only $16,040 for women. More than 9 percent of senior Americans were food insecure in 2012. This page highlights federal nutrition program helping seniors.
Summer Meal Partners: What Legislators Can Do to Feed Hungry Kids, July 2019
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides meals for low income children when they are out of school.
Proposed Rule for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents, April 17, 2019
In February 2019, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a new rule looking at changes in requirements for certain able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Under current rules, state SNAP agencies can request USDA to temporarily waive the three-month time limit on non-working adults in areas that have an unemployment rate of over 10 percent or a “lack of sufficient jobs.” Several changes in the proposed rule would reduce the number of waived areas for these adults.
Legislator Stories: Addressing Hunger in the States, July 25, 2018
NCSL’s bipartisan Hunger Partnership brings together state legislators, corporate, and nonprofit partners to address hunger in the states. Below are excerpts from short interviews with Hunger Partnership state legislators about innovative hunger solutions and lessons learned in their states. Follow the links to listen to the full interviews.
WIC as a Public Health Intervention
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides nutrition education, healthy food, breastfeeding support and healthcare referrals for income-eligible women. This includes women who are pregnant or postpartum, as well as infants, and children up to age 5. WIC is a short-term resource designed to influence lifetime health outcomes.
SNAP Work Requirements Fact Sheet, May 16, 2018
As Congress debates reauthorization of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the “farm bill,” some proposals are calling for stricter work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This fact sheet reviews what the federal SNAP program already requires, proposed changes, and current SNAP work requirements by state.
College Student Hunger, April 17, 2018
In 2016, nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. college students reported experiencing food insecurity in the past 30 days. Twenty-two percent of these students experienced very low levels of food security. Food insecurity (defined as being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food) is prevalent at both two-year and four-year institutions, and disproportionately affects students of color and first-generation college students.
Farm, Fork and Food Waste, Nov. 9, 2017
One-in-5 Americans struggle to feed themselves or their family every day. Meanwhile, nearly one-third of all the food produced for human consumption in the U.S. is wasted. The resources used to produce this food, most notably, land and water, are also being wasted. State legislators have begun to think critically about the connection between food waste and hunger, and have acted. From implementing tax incentives to funding food rescue operations, states are harnessing collaborative relationships with businesses and nonprofit stakeholders to prevent food waste and to feed families in need. When food can’t be consumed, recycling or repurposing it as compost, animal feed or energy are also effective strategies for reducing waste.
Emergency Food Assistance, Aug. 23, 2017
In 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared 37 major disasters for severe storms across the country. This brief describes disaster food assistance programs available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) including the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
Improving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, NCSL LegisBrief, April 2017
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, provides nutrition assistance to low-income people. SNAP is the primary food assistance program in the farm bill, which funds dozens of farm, food and nutrition programs, most recently authorized through fiscal year 2018. SNAP is the largest federal food program serving low-income families in the United States.
Bringing Legislators to the Table | 2015 Edition, August 2015
“Bringing Legislators to the Table: Addressing Hunger through Public-Private Partnerships,” 2015 Edition, introducese nine examples of innovative programs that involve partnerships among multiple organizations and state-level support.
State Legislative Hunger Caucuses: A Platform for Cultivating Solutions, July 2015
Establishing a legislative hunger caucus is one tool legislators can use to address food insecurity in their state and take action to help families in need. Hunger caucuses provide a platform for legislators to raise awareness about food insecurity at the legislature and strategize efforts to combat hunger.
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), April 2015
Created in 1968, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CAFCP) serves more than three million children in child care settings each day. CACFP is among the core federal child nutrition programs that Congress will review in the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The program was last reauthorized under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which is set to expire on September 30, 2015.
WIC: Supporting the Health and Nutrition of Pregnant Women, Infants and Children Legisbrief, September 2014
Available in all states, 34 Indian tribal organizations and the U.S. territories, WIC served 8.6 million low-income women and children per month in 2013—more than half of all infants in the United States and more than a quarter of pregnant women. WIC provides nutrition education, supplemental food, health care referrals and breastfeeding support to low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5.
WIC Fact Sheet, August 2014
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutrition education, supplemental food, healthcare referrals, and breastfeeding support to low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five.
Revisions in the WIC Food Packages Final Rule, May 2014
The USDA “Revisions in the WIC Food Packages” final rule, published on March 4, 2014, revises the interim rule published in 2007.
"Heat and Eat" and SNAP changes in the 2014 Farm Bill, April 2014
The Farm Bill of 2014 made changes to the “Heat and Eat” provision under Title IV.
Feeding People Not Landfills: Why Reducing Food Waste Matters, August 2013
Reducing food waste in our society has significant economic, social and environmental benefits that bring a diverse array of stakeholders together. This brief highlights private-public partnerships that divert food waste from landfills, reduce resources used in food production, incentivizes food donation, and highlights opportunities that exist for legislators to play an active role in moving this effort forward.
A Guide to the School Breakfast Program, November 2012
This two-page brief describes the federally funded school breakfast program, how it works, and its benefits for children. School breakfast has the same eligibility criteria as school lunch, but fewer than half of lunch participants eat school breakfast. This brief offers examples of public-private partnerships that help expand access to school breakfast and how legislators can play a role.
NCSL Legisbrief: Public-Private Partnerships in SNAP, October 2012
The number of people in the United States who had difficulty putting food on the table has grown by more than 5 million since 2007. With one in seven households experiencing food insecurity in 2010, the situation no longer is limited to low-income Americans. Food banks across the country report seeing more seniors, families with children, veterans and active military personnel, and suburban and rural families. In the face of the slow economic recovery and high unemployment, many of these families turned to food banks for the first time.
Luckily, experts say, hunger in the United States is a solvable problem. Today, public officials, private businesses, nonprofits and concerned citizens are partnering in creative efforts to address hunger. State lawmakers play vital roles, from passing legislation to administer and leverage funds from one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 15 nutrition programs to promoting local gardens and food pantries.
This legisbrief provides examples of public-private partnerships that have blossomed in recent years under a common purpose: to increase the effectiveness of the federal program at the state and local levels.
How to Address Hunger in Your Community: A Checklist for State Legislators, August 2012
Hunger affects communities across the United States. One in seven households was food insecure in 2010 and as many as one in five households had difficulty affording food at some point in 2011. Yet, hunger in the United States is a solvable problem. Today public officials, private businesses and non-profits and concerned citizens around the country unite in creative efforts to address hunger in their communities. Whether it is leveraging one of the 15 federal nutrition programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or promoting a local community garden, state legislators can play an active role in eliminating hunger in their districts and beyond.
This checklist serves as guide to legislators as they seek simple, low cost ways to feed hungry families. Flip the page to see how you can begin looking at the problem, raising awareness, and fighting hunger in your community.
"Bringing Legislators to the Table: Addressing Hunger through Public-Private Partnerships", 2011
- 22 profiles of innovative public-private partnerships to address hunger.
- 22 examples of state legislation that help catalyze work to address hunger.
- Three case studies of easy, inexpensive efforts by individual legislators to raise the visibilty of hunger.
Spoiler Alert: States Fight Against Food Waste, NCSL Webinar with NRI Committee, May 4, 2017
Getting food from the farm to our fork takes a significant amount of energy, land and water resources, yet up to 40 percent of food in the U.S. today goes uneaten. Food waste is the single largest component of municipal landfills, where it breaks down to produce methane. This webinar will explore state efforts to reduce food waste, highlighting landfill bans, waste-to-energy systems, and tax incentives to encourage food donations.
- Patrick Serfass, executive director, American Biogas Council
- Emily M. Broad Leib, director, Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic
- Marcus Schmit, director of Advocacy, Second Harvest Heartland
Hunger Doesn't Take a Summer Break. April 22, 2016.
More than 21 million children rely on free and reduced school meals during the academic year. Only 1-in-6 of these kids participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). SFSP seeks to address food insecurity among children and youth during the summer months when they are out of school.
Reducing Food Waste: Feeding the Hungry is Just One Benefit. Sept. 20, 2013 (See the webinar here.)
This webinar is a cross-jurisdictional examination of the issues and opportunities surrounding emerging efforts by government, the private sector and non-profits to reduce food waste. This webinar builds on the interest and strong support seen at the initial session on the topic at NCSL’s 2013 Spring Forum.
Ensuring Program Integrity and Efficiency in Nutrition Assistance Programs. June 24, 2012 (See the webinar here.)
State and federal lawmakers have been concerned about ensuring that the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman Infants and Children (WIC) benefits go to those who are eligible. Join NCSL Foundation’s Hunger Partnership for a webinar on combating fraud and theft in federal nutrition assistance programs. Our panel of expert speakers combine federal, business and law enforcement perspectives on how to ensure program integrity. We will hear what the USDA has done and their ongoing efforts to reduce improper payments and errors, pursue recipient fraud and combat abuse and misuse of benefits. We will hear from an EBT systems expert on the role of EBT in combating fraud and increasing accountability, and from the business community on how they are confronting the role of organized crime and how theft increases costs. What are cost-effective strategies states can use? How cans legislators partner with the federal government, state agencies and others to combat program errors, theft and fraud? How can we aid struggling families and seniors to put food on the table and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately?
- Undersecretary Kevin Concannon, Food and Nutrition Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Bard Shollenberger, vice president, State Government Solutions, Xerox State & Local Solutions, Inc.
- Rick Gunselman, security manager, Global Corporate Security, Mead Johnson Nutrition
- Sheri Steisel, director of Human Services Policy, National Conference of State Legislatures
Food for Learning: Public Private Partnerships in the School Breakfast Program. June 12, 2012 (See the webinar here.)
Research shows that students who participate in school breakfast have improved attendance, test scores and decreased behavioral problems. The webinar highlights how schools and public and private partners are providing affordable breakfast to students, and leveraging federal dollars to provide healthy breakfasts to children in their community.
- Bill Ludwig, regional administrator, USDA FNS Southwest Regional Office
- Ali Dorazio, nutritionist, General Mills
- Jason Reed, director, Strategy and Corporate Partnerships, Hunger Free Minnesota
- Sheri Steisel, director of Human Services Policy, National Conference of State Legislatures
Q & A with Andrew Zimmern, Celebrity Chef and TV Personality, Bizzare Foods America, Travel Channel (August 2014)
Celebrity chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern is best known for his popular series "Bizarre Foods," but he is also committed to combating hunger in America. This video interview discusses innovative partnerships such as Taste of the NFL and data-driven strategies such as Hunger-Free Minnesota, and what state legislators can bring to the table to craft local solutions to hunger challenges.
NCSL Statecast: A Conversation with the Sen. Renee Unterman (GA) and Rep. Dwight Evans on Hunger in America (August 2012)
NCSL Hunger Partnership Co-Chairs Sen. Renee Unterman (GA) and Rep. Dwight Evans (PA) discuss the work the Hunger Partnership has done to share best practices to end hunger with their colleeagues across the country. Sen. Unterman discusses how she got involved on the issue, and Rep. Evan discusses his Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, that was incorporated in First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign. Walmart, an NCSL Hunger Partner also discussed their findings on focus groups conducted on hunger.
Bringing Legislators to the Table: Addressing Hunger in America (August 2011)
Speakers focused on innovative public-private partnerships in feeding both traditional and new populations experiencing hunger in America. Innovative practices include increasing access to federal feeding programs such as SNAP, WIC and school-meals programs for children, families, veterans, and elderly. The panelists also identified concrete ways that state legislators can make a difference in their roles as lawmakers and community leaders.