Current Advocacy Campaigns
Montana Food Bank Network advocates at both state and federal levels to protect and strengthen the public nutrition programs, and address root causes of hunger.
Build Back Better Act
Congress is currently working on a bill that has the potential to have a historic impact for children and families in our state, supporting lifelong health and well-being. The House passed the Build Back Better (BBB) Act in mid-December, 2021, but it has stalled in the Senate. We expect Members of Congress to take up negotiations again in the next couple of months.
Although the fate of this bill is uncertain, MFBN will continue to advocate for the child nutrition priorities listed below:
- Connect more kids to free school meals by strengthening the Community Eligibility Provision.
- Close the child summer hunger gap by implementing Summer EBT nationwide.
- Continue the current expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). This provision alone is expected to reduce childhood poverty in the U.S. by a staggering 40-50%. Learn more here.
- Continue the current expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), one of our nation’s most effective anti-poverty initiatives, helping low-wage workers keep more of the money they earn.
Additionally, the Build Back Better Act includes investments in education, child care, paid family and medical leave, affordable housing, and access to healthcare. This bill is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the future of this country.
Negotiations continue in the House on the size and scope of the BBB Act, with a vote in the House planned by the end of October (pushed back a month from the original September deadline.)
Make sure you are signed up to be an Anti-Hunger Advocate to receive action alerts and policy updates as we work to ensure improvements to school meals, Summer EBT, the Child Tax Credit, and other anti-poverty priorities are included in the final bill.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) is a process used by Congress to update child nutrition programs, including the summer and after school meals program, school breakfast and lunch program and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. CNR is used to set policy and funding for these programs and is typically renewed every 5 years, although it has not been updated since 2010.
A number of marker bills have been introduced by members of Congress which begin the process of updating CNR. Click the images below to learn more about the marker bills we are watching.
American Rescue Plan Act
This $1.9 trillion bill includes financial help for individuals, families, organizations and local and state governments. Information on the American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Biden in March, can be found on the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities website.
The 2021 State Legislative Session closed on April 29, 2021. This session MFBN focused on supporting bills that would help provide stability for struggling Montanans, and opposing bills that would do the exact opposite. It is only with the help of our Anti-Hunger Advocates and community partners across the state that we were able to come through the session with some important successes. We stopped bills that would have added new barriers to SNAP (SB100 and HB339). We passed HB235, providing $95,000 in state funds for Montana’s Double SNAP dollars program (which was vetoed by Governor Gianforte). Additional details on MFBN’s 2021 Montana Legislative priorities can be found here.