The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act (CNR) authorizes all of the federal school meal and child nutrition programs that provide funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods.
How often does it come up for renewal?
While the programs are permanently authorized, Congress reviews the laws governing these programs through the reauthorization process every five years.
How did CNR start?
The National School Lunch Program was created by President Harry S Truman in 1946 “as a measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation’s children.”
What programs are up for review in CNR?
The National School Lunch Program guarantees that thousands of low-income Central Florida children receive a health lunch during their school day. All children can participate in the program, but low-income children are certified to receive free or reduced-price school meals. Children who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch also qualify for the School Breakfast Program.
The School Breakfast Program ensures that children across the country can get a healthy breakfast at school. As with the case of school lunches, all children can participate but children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on their families’ income.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program reimburses child care centers, Head Start programs, family child care homes, homeless shelters and afterschool programs for snacks and meals served to children. Generally, children under the age of 12, as well as certain disabled adults, can participate, but homeless shelters and after school programs can serve children 18 and under.
The Summer Food Service Program, or Summer Break Spot in Florida, ensures that children (18 and under) who depend on school lunch and breakfast during the school year still have access to free, nutritious meals and snacks during the summer when school is out. It provides reimbursements to schools, local government agencies, and private nonprofit organizations that serve free meals and snacks to children at sites located in low-income areas or that serve primarily low-income children.
The Afterschool Meal Program bridges the hunger gap for children who participate in afterschool programs. It provides federal funds to private nonprofit and public organizations (including schools) so they can serve nutritious meals (and snacks) at after school programs located in low-income areas.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infant and Children (WIC) provides nutritious foods, nutrition education and access to health care to low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to age 5. The monthly WIC food package is a combination of foods that improve nutrition for pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children.
CNR also includes funding for the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program, issues coupons recipients to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets; Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program provides fresh fruit and vegetable snacks to children during the school day; and, the Special Milk Program that supports serving milk to children in schools and child care institutions.
Thanks to the Food, Research & Action Center (FRAC) for a great primer on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. View it online here: Child Nutrition Reauthorization