MFBN IS URGING CONGRESS TO SUPPORT KEY NUTRITION PROGRAMS.
MFBN is working with state and national partners to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive FY2022 spending bill that includes these vital food programs:
Support for Food Pantries and Meal Programs
MFBN is urging Congress to approve an additional $900 million in funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). TEFAP provides US-grown commodity foods through local food pantries and meal programs that serve low-income households. TEFAP is an essential source of nutritious foods for Montana’s food pantries, while also providing stability for American farmers and producers. In 2021, MFBN distributed 2.5 million pounds of TEFAP foods, including meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
Congress Should Extend School Meal Flexibilities
MFBN and 20 other organizations in Montana, joined the Food Research & Action Center and 2,000 national, state and local organizations in signing a letter urging Congress to extend flexibilities for school meals and other child nutrition programs. These flexibilities have been critical to addressing access and operational challenges created by the pandemic. An extension of USDA’s authority to issue flexibility in how child nutrition programs are operating will ensure schools, community organizations, and child care providers have the flexibility needed to effectively respond to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and provide meals to students and children in Montana. USDA’s waiver authority currently expires on June 30. This looming cutoff has received media coverage, including this article from K-12 Dive.
WIC Participants Will See a Drop in Benefits if Congress Does Not Act
WIC plays an essential role in helping families afford food during critical phases of development, improving long-term health and nutrition outcomes. In March 2021, Congress temporarily expanded access to fruits and vegetables for families participating in WIC. This WIC benefit bump is scheduled to expire after March 31, despite rising food costs and the positive impact of the bump for WIC families. If it is not extended, WIC participants will see their fruit and vegetable benefit drop from $24-$47 per month back down to just $9-$14.
MFBN is calling on Montana’s members of Congress to support an extension of the WIC benefit boost through fiscal year 2022, so families can access the nutritious food they need.
To join MFBN as an Anti-Hunger Advocate, text MFBN to 52886 or sign-up for email alerts here.