|DATE:||March 23, 2022|
|POLICY MEMO:||SP 07-2022, CACFP 06-2022, SFSP 02-2022|
|SUBJECT:||Promoting Access to Voting through the Child Nutrition Programs|
Special Nutrition Programs
Child Nutrition Programs
On March 7, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden passed Executive Order (EO) 14019 directing federal agencies to consider ways to expand citizens' opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about, and participate in, the electoral process. Through the child nutrition programs, operators have the ability to reach Americans to provide them with information about voting.
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) encourages all state agencies administering the child nutrition programs to provide local program operators with promotional materials, including voter registration and non-partisan, non-campaign election information, to disseminate among voting-age program participants and their families. Ideas include, but are not limited to, encouraging:
- School food authorities administering the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in high schools, and adult day care centers and emergency shelters participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to promote voter registration and election information among voting-age participants and use congregate feeding areas, such as cafeterias, or food distribution sites, as sites for the dissemination of information;
- Schools to provide parents and guardians with voter registration and election information when distributing NSLP free and reduced price meal applications and/or other communications to households;
- Operators of the CACFP and the Summer Food Service Program to post flyers with voter registration and election information to reach parents and/or guardians of young participants; and
- All program operators to post information on their website and social media channels, and link to relevant resources, including vote.gov.
Attached to this letter is a sample flyer (also available at USAGov’s Quick Guide to Voting in 2020 | USAGov) as an example of information that may be used by program operators. State agencies are encouraged to develop additional materials and translations as needed, in order to address state-specific voter registration requirements and election information, and best reach the intended population. State and local election websites can be located at Find My State or Local Election Office Website | USAGov.
The child nutrition programs play an essential role in the health and development of our nation’s children, and can also play a role in enabling all Americans to participate in our democracy.
Policy and Program Development Division