|January 19, 2011
|Implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, SNAP Education Provision
On Dec.13, 2010, President Barack H. Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (PL 111-296), which reauthorized the child nutrition and WIC programs. Operations of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) are affected by implementation of a provision of this law, Section 241, which establishes a Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program. The provision seeks to improve the effectiveness of SNAP-Ed and make it easier for the states to administer, while still allowing funding to grow.
This memorandum describes the provisions of Section 241, and how the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will implement these provisions. The attachment details state allocations for SNAP-Ed activities for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2011. As described below, some provisions are effective from the beginning of this fiscal year. Other provisions will not be effective until fiscal year 2013. On or before Jan. 1, 2012, FNS will publish in the Federal Register rules promulgating the provisions of Section 241.
The provision establishes and caps federal funding at $375 million for FFY 2011. It allows for 100% federal funding through two-year grants, which give states more flexibility to target services where they can be most effective without the constraints of a state match. State allocations for FFY 2011 are based on state reported expenditure data for FFY 2009, as reported in February 2010. The law does not authorize additional federal financial participation for SNAP-Ed activities beyond the fixed grant amount. Costs in excess of the amounts detailed on the allocation chart will not be reimbursed. States may wish to seek additional public or private funding to supplement their nutrition education activities. Although the funding provisions of this legislation are retroactive to the beginning of FFY 2011, a transition period will be necessary to ensure the orderly conversion of SNAP-Ed related expenditures between the current and newly established funding streams while maintaining program operations. FNS is currently pursuing apportionment and warranting of the funds through the agency’s financial management (FM) at the national office. FM will be establishing new accounting structures to accommodate these changes. Additional guidance, jointly issued by SNAP and FM, will follow and will address:
- Timing of and actions necessary to move year-to-date SNAP-Ed obligations and outlays to the new funding stream;
- Conversion of SNAP-Ed grants from a one year to a two year performance period (i.e., Oct. 1, 2010 – Sept. 30, 2012); and
- Any financial and program data reporting implications of these changes.
This guidance will be issued in January 2011 with the goal of completing necessary financial and reporting adjustments prior to the close of the second quarter of the federal fiscal year.
Beginning in FFY 2012 and for each successive year thereafter, funding will be indexed for inflation to reflect any increases for the 12-month period ending the preceding June 30 in the Consumer Price Index of All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. In addition, the law provides that the methodology used to allocate the grant funds among the states will change over time.
- For FFYs 2011 through 2013, each state’s allocation of the available SNAP-Ed funding will be based on its share of total National SNAP-Ed expenditures for FFY 2009, as reported in February 2010.
- For FFY 2014 and after, a state’s allocation will be based on its share of FFY 2009 expenditures and on its share of the total SNAP participants served in the 12- month period ending the prior January 31. This begins at a 90/10 weighting of expenditures to participants in FFY 2014 and builds progressively to 50/50 in FFY 2018, and thereafter.
The law establishes a two year transition period, FFY 2011 – 2012, during which state nutrition education plans will remain consistent with plan requirements prior to enactment of the provision (subject to the funding changes described above). There will be no changes to the SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance 2009, under which state SNAP-Ed Plans were developed and submitted for FFY 2011. In accordance with Section 241, FNS will seek and receive input from various stakeholders and experts, including the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, representatives of the academic and research communities, nutrition education practitioners, representatives of state and local governments, and community organizations that serve low-income populations. This will inform future guidance on identifying allowable uses of funds, and delivery, oversight, and evaluation of nutrition education as a part of updating the guidance and implementing the provision through regulation.
FNS will address aspects of the provision that are not effective until FFY 2013 through the rule-making process. The provision maintains USDA’s commitment to providing SNAP-Ed to low-income populations, while providing a focus for the program on the issue of obesity. Other aspects of the provision that will be addressed in future guidance and rulemaking include:
- Promotion of healthy food choices and consistency with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Provision of coordinated services to participants in all the federal food assistance programs and other low-income persons.
- Coordination and collaboration among federal agencies and stakeholders, including the public health community.
- Requirement that activities be evidence-based and outcome driven, providing for accountability and transparency through state plans and collaboration among stakeholders.
Please forward this information to your state agencies as soon as possible.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program