SETTING THE CONTEXT
Families with children experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied homeless youth often experience food insecurity, which means they may not know where they will find their next meal. To help ensure that vulnerable children and youth have access to regular meals, the U.S. federal government funds a variety of food programs, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school meals and SNAP/food stamp programs.
Access to Food for Homeless and Highly Mobile Students
This issue brief, developed collaboratively by NAEHCY, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), and the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), explains the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child Nutrition Division (CND) policies regarding eligibility for free school meals for certain homeless, migrant, runaway, and foster students; addresses frequently asked questions about implementing these policies; and offers tools to ensure that these students can access food both inside and outside of school.
Download the brief.
Food Assistance for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
In this January 2014 webinar, national experts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) review a 2013 USDA policy clarification that helps unaccompanied homeless youth access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, as well as state policies that help to connect homeless youth with SNAP. This webinar is intended for state human services agencies, individuals and organizations working on SNAP policy and advocacy, advocates for children facing homelessness, and McKinney-Vento liaisons.
View the webinar recording.
The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 authorizes all of the federal school meal and child nutrition programs, which provide funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious meals. The Act extends categorical eligibility for child nutrition programs to homeless, runaway, migrant, and foster children and youth. These programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The SNAP/Food Stamp Program is the largest nutrition assistance program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The goal of the program is to alleviate hunger and malnutrition by increasing food purchasing power for low-income individuals and families as stated in the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended (P.L. 108-269). The program provides monthly benefits to eligible low-income families which can be used to purchase food.