Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy (December 2021)
Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy
by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, and Bailey Ashbaker, Senior Policy Analyst and Engagement Specialist
December 17, 2021
Chris Bernard Testifies Before House Rules Committee
In case you missed it, our Executive Director, Chris Bernard, was invited to testify at a congressional roundtable along with four other experts from across the nation as part of an effort to examine the issue of hunger in rural America. The roundtable, Ending Hunger in America: Food Insecurity in Rural America, was the twelfth event in a series by the Congressional House Committee on Rules, led by Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA). The committee also includes Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK), who serves the 4th District of Oklahoma. The series of events highlights food insecurity in America and helps to gather information for Chairman McGovern’s call for a White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger and Health.
Chris’s testimony included a look at the barriers many Oklahomans face in obtaining food security and the tremendous strengths in rural communities that, when leveraged, can have huge impacts. This opportunity enabled HFO to recommend many policy-based solutions that would have sweeping positive impacts for Oklahomans.
To view the testimony video, go to: https://rules.house.gov/video/ending-hunger-america-food-insecurity-rural-america
2022 Legislative Session
The first deadline for the 2022 Oklahoma Legislative Session passed last week. Legislators requested a total of 3,019 bills ahead of legislative session. New bill requests, combined with carryover bills from the 2021 legislative session means there will be approximately 5,500 bills that will be viable as the legislature convenes in February. We will share more specifics about legislation we are tracking next year.
Federal Budget Reconciliation Update
Senate negotiations on the contents of the Build Back Better social spending package will carry into 2022. The $1.75 trillion spending package includes promising child food security provisions such as the nationwide expansion of the Summer EBT program, providing states the option to implement statewide Community Eligibility Provisions for free school meals, and grants for school kitchen equipment and healthy meals demonstration projects.
PEBT Deadline Approaching
If your child received virtual instruction in 2020-21 and you believe your child is eligible and you have not yet received a P-EBT card or believe the amount on the card is incorrect, please fill out the review form on OSDE’s page by January 15, 2022.
Oklahoma has launched a website to stay up to date on the latest information on the state portion of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Included on the site is an opportunity for Oklahomans to formally or informally weigh in on how these funds should be used. Organizations may submit a detailed response to the project questionnaire, which is intended to be used for specific projects. There is also an idea questionnaire available for Oklahomans to provide input on how the funds should be used, without the need to propose a fully-planned project. Visit the state ARPA website here.
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