Child Nutrition Reauthorization Marker Bills

What Are They, and Why Do They Matter?

Every five years, Congress debates the merits and efficacy of programs, such as WIC Farm to School, School Meals, and Child and Adult Care Food Program, in a process called Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR).

Members of Congress, with an interest in these programs, will introduce or have already introduced bills that will be considered as part Child Nutrition Reauthorization. These bills cover related issues and are intended to either be incorporated into the larger CNR bill, or voted on as amendments to CNR, and are termed "marker bills."

Current CNR marker bills aim to:

  • Improve access to the Summer Food Service Program in hard to reach areas.
  • Close the gap in coverage for children who participate in WIC as they go to kindergarten by extending the program to age 6.
  • Provide grants/loans for school kitchen equipment.
  • Increase funding for the Farm to School Program.

These, as well as other marker bills introduced, align with the Academy's Recommendations for CNR. The complete list of marker bills including a short description of each, and a link to see if your Member of Congress has signed on, can be found below.

The Academy has signed on to letters of support, and been featured in press releases, to show our organizational backing for some marker bills since they align with our recommendations and position papers. In addition, the Academy continues to monitor and, in some cases, oppose other marker bills. A summary of these bills is below.


School Food Modernization Act

WIC to 6

Summer Meals Act of 2015

Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2015

Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015

Farm to School Act of 2015

Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act

Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act

Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act

Marker Bills: Monitor and Support as Necessary

Tribal Nutrition Improvement Act

Improving School Nutrition Training Act

School Lunch Price Protection Act of 2015

Marker Bills: Oppose per CNR Work Group Recommendations

Healthy School Meals Flexibility Act

School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015

Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children Act


Marker Bills: Support


School Food Modernization Act

Original (Co)Sponsors

Senate

  • Collins (R-ME)
  • Heitkamp (D - ND)

House

  • Barletta (R-PA)
  • DeSaulneir (D-CA)
  • Thompson (R-PA)
  • Pingree (D-ME)

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Expands grant and loans for kitchen equipment in schools.

Lead Organization

Pew Charitable Trusts Kids Safe and Healthful Food Project

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Increase funding mechanisms for updated infrastructure and equipment to school kitchens.

Return to Menu


WIC to 6

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • DeLauro (D-CT)

Senate

  • Casey (D-PA)

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Expands eligibility to children on WIC to their 6th birthday.

Lead Organizations

Witnesses to Hunger, Children's Health Watch and the National WIC Association

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Support nutrition and breastfeeding counseling as successful cost-effective healthcare services.

Return to Menu


Summer Meal Act of 2015

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • Larsen (D-WA)
  • Young (R-AK)

Senate

  • Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Murkowski (R-AK)

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Allow summer food sponsors to feed kids year-round reducing administrative requirements.

Reduce eligibility requirement from 50 percent to 40 percent low income kids.

Provide transportation funding.

Allow all sites to serve a third meal.

Lead Organizations

FRAC, Feeding America and Share our Strength

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Improve access to and participation in the Summer Food Service Program.

Return to Menu


Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2015

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • Davis (D-CA)
  • Kilmer (D-WA)
  • Moore (D-WI)
  • Bonamici (D-OR)

Senate

  • Murray (D-WA)
  • Casey (D-PA)

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Provide the parents of children who receive free/reduced lunch increased benefit on their EBT card.

Lead Organizations

FRAC, Feeding America and Share our Strength

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Improve access to and participation in the Summer Food Service Program.

Return to Menu


Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015

Original (Co)Sponsors

Senate

  • Boozman (R-AR)
  • McConnell (R-KY)
  • Kirk (R-IL)
  • Brown (D-OH)
  • Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Bennet (D-CO)

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Targeted efforts to address gaps in Summer Food Service Program utilization (increased WIC benefit for families with children in the summer, mobile meals).

Lead Organizations

Feeding America and Share our Strength

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Improve access to and participation in the Summer Food Service Program.

Return to Menu


Farm to School Act of 2015

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • Fortenberry (R-NE)
  • Fudge
  • Davis (R-IL)
  • Langevin (D-RI)
  • Gibson (R-NY)
  • Garamendi (D-CA)
  • Leahy (D-VT)

Senate

  • Cochran (R-MS)

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Expand current farm to school adding preschools, summer food service program sites and after school programs by increasing mandatory funding from $5 to $15 million.

Lead Organization

Farm to School Network

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Provide funding and support for expansion of the grant program to include preschool, summer, afterschool and tribal communities.

Return to Menu


Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • Ryan (D-OH)
  • Farr (D-CA)
  • Wilson (D-FL)
  • DeLauro (D-CT)
  • 8 other co-sponsors

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Establishes grant funds for training, TA and placement of salad bars in schools.

Lead Organizations

United Fresh Produce and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Maintain current evidenced-based meal and nutrition standards to help assure the health of American children.

Support Academy school nutrition members who are leading the way in implementing improvements to school meals.

Provide adequate funding for schools to purchase healthy, quality foods for school meals and snacks.

Return to Menu


Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act

Original (Co)Sponsors

Senate

  • Casey (D-PA)

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Increases reimbursement to serve healthier meals/snacks to children, and streamlines administration of the program.

Lead Organization

FRAC

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Provide adequate reimbursement to implement the new proposed improved meal patterns and nutrition standards.

Streamline access to healthy meals for young children in child care, such as those identified in the CACFP Paperwork Reduction Report Recommendations.

Return to Menu


Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
  • Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

Summary/Benefits of Bill

Summary/Benefits of Bill The Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act (HR. 3886) will strengthen Child and Adult Care Food Program's ability to serve low-income children and adults in daycare. The bill allows the option of an additional meal or snack for children in care for a full day, reduces paperwork, streamlines program operations, and helps child care providers continue to operate effectively.

Lead Organizations

FRAC, National Women's Law Center and AFSCME

Aligns with Academy Recommendations

Provide adequate reimbursement to implement the new proposed improved meal patterns and nutrition standards.

Streamline access to healthy meals for young children in child care, such as those identified in the CACFP Paperwork Reduction Report Recommendations.

Return to Menu


Marker Bills: Monitor and Support as Necessary


Tribal Nutrition Improvement Act

Original (Co)Sponsors

Senate

  • Tom Udall (D-NM)

House

  • Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)

Summary of Bill

The Tribal Nutrition Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 1937/H.R. 3502) will improve nutrition in tribal areas by helping tribal schools feed students for free. This Act ensures that the federal sector will seek out new alternatives to feed all tribal students at no cost. This Act will also empower tribal nations to operate their own child nutrition programs by allowing tribal nations to be in charge of program administration to increase tribal students' access to meals.

Return to Menu


Improving School Nutrition Training Act

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • Mark Pocan (D-WI)
  • John Katko (R-NY

Summary of Bill

The Improving School Nutrition Training Act will assist school service professionals implement the new professional standards. This act will ensure that the training is provided during workdays and that employees are compensated appropriately if they must train outside of the workday. The primary training avenue promoted by this bill is in-person training with online training being a supplemental option. The Improving School Nutrition Training Act will also ensure that school food service professionals are given advanced notice of trainings and that employees are not penalized if they are unable to make the training outside of work hours.

Return to Menu


School Lunch Price Protection Act of 2015

Original (Co)Sponsors

Senate

  • James Inhofe (R-OK)
  • Angus King (I-ME)

Summary of Bill

Prevent School Food Authorities (SFAs) from being forced to raise meal prices when a school's program is financially solvent, a federal mandate known as Paid Lunch Equity.

Return to Menu


Marker Bills: Oppose per CNR Work Group Recommendations


Healthy School Meals Flexibility Act

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • Rodney Davis (R-IL)
  • Brad Ashford (D-NE)

Senate

  • John Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Angus King (I-ME)
  • Tom Cotton (R-AR)
  • John Boozman (AR)
  • James Risch (R-ID)

Summary of Bill

Exclude any further reductions below Target 1 of the sodium restriction and reinstates the half of all grains must be whole grain rule instead of the current standard of all grains must be whole grain.

Return to Menu


School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015

Original (Co)Sponsors

House

  • Glen Thompson (R-PA)
  • Joe Courtney (D-CT)

Summary of Bill

Offer students flavored and unflavored milk that contains no more than 150 calories per 8oz serving. In WIC, mothers and kids up to age 2 can receive 2% milk if they present a written request.

Return to Menu


Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children Act

Original (Co)Sponsors

Senate

  • Ron Johnson (R-WI)
  • Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Dan Coats (R-IN)
  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Summary of Bill

This act will amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by including canned, dried, frozen, and pureed fruits and vegetables.

Return to Menu