Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy (November 2022)

Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy

by

 

Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy

Bailey Ashbaker, Senior Policy Analyst and Engagement Specialist

November 21, 2022

Election Results 

The Oklahoma legislature will have 15 new members of the House of Representatives and eight new members of the Senate. This means that 22% of the legislature will be new members come next session. Hunger Free Oklahoma will focus on educating new and returning legislators alike on the landscape of food security issues and policies. 

New House Members: 

  • Representative-Elect John Kane, House District 12 
  • Representative-Elect Neil Hays, House District 13 
  • Representative-Elect Cody Maynard, House District 21 
  • Representative-Elect Chris Banning, House District 24 
  • Representative-Elect Collin Duel, House District 31 
  • Representative-Elect John George, House District 36 
  • Representative-Elect Jared Deck, House District 44 
  • Representative-Elect Annie Menz, House District 45 
  • Representative-Elect Josh Cantrell, House District 49 
  • Representative-Elect Nick Archer, House District 55  
  • Representative-Elect Clay Staires, House District 66 
  • Representative-Elect Mark Tedford, House District 69 
  • Representative-Elect Suzanne Schreiber, House District 70 
  • Representative-Elect Amanda Swope, House District 71 
  • Representative-Elect Ellyn Hefner, House District 87 

New Senate Members: 

  • Senator-Elect Ally Seifried, Senate District 2 
  • Senator-Elect Tom Woods, Senate District 4 
  • Senator-Elect Todd Gollihare, Senate District 12 
  • Senator-Elect Jerry Alvord, Senate District 14 
  • Senator-Elect Jack Stewart, Senate District 18 
  • Senator-Elect Kristen Thompson, Senate District 22 
  • Senator-Elect Grant Green, Senate District 28 
  • Senator-Elect Dana Prieto, Senate District 34 

 

Federal Public Health Emergency Extended  

The federal public health emergency (PHE) has been extended through the spring of 2023. Therefore, current federal nutrition program waivers and flexibilities are expected to remain in effect through the first quarter of 2023. The Administration has indicated that they will give at least a 60-day notice before the PHE ends, so the next notification of the PHE’s status can be expected towards the end of February 2023. We are tracking this very closely and will keep our partners updated with the latest information.  

  

SNAP Cost of Living Adjustment in Effect  

Last month, the cost-of-living adjustment to SNAP benefits went into effect, increasing SNAP benefits by 12.5%. SNAP benefits are adjusted each year based on the cost of groceries, and high inflation led to the largest cost-of-living adjustment in recent history. While this will provide some breathing room to families trying to stretch their grocery budgets, it only means roughly $0.20 more per person per meal.  

  

White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health  

In case you missed it – Hunger Free Oklahoma had the honor of attending the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in person on September 28. In addition to attending the event, several of our commitments to specific actions to end hunger were featured in a fact sheet released by the White House.   

   

Child Nutrition Program Reauthorization  

The House Committee on Education and Labor passed H.R. 1850 out of committee on July 27, 2022. The reauthorization package is now eligible to be heard on the House floor, but an exact timeline is not clear at this point. The Senate had an opportunity to include Child Nutrition Reauthorization provisions in the budget reconciliation (Inflation Reduction Act) but chose to leave these provisions out of the package. While Child Nutrition Reauthorization has a path forward in the House, it faces greater hurdles in the Senate. As a reminder, here are some of the provisions that will impact Oklahoma the most 

What advocates can do: Please contact both your House and Senate members and tell them to prioritize passing Child Nutrition Reauthorization before the end of the year.  

  

P-EBT Updates  

School Year 2020–2021 Benefits:
Families who filled out the review form on Oklahoma State Department of Education’s page are starting to receive these benefits.  

School Year 2021–2022 Benefits:
Oklahoma was recently approved to operate the P-EBT program for school closures during the 2021–2022 school year. At this time, we are unsure of when these benefits will be issued.  

Summer 2022 Benefits:
Oklahoma was approved to operate the P-EBT program for Summer 2022. Unlike school year benefits, summer benefits are a uniform amount of $391 for all qualifying children. Benefits went out at the end of July and beginning of August. Benefits for those who were missed in the original August 2022 issuance and filled out this form are beginning to be issued. 

 

 

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