October 2, 2018
Photo: Kyle Post
Farm Bill Expires as Debate on SNAP Reform Continues

The Senate and House of Representatives missed the September 30th deadline to pass a new Farm Bill as debate over changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) continues to divide Congress. The House and Senate are now in recess until following the midterm elections and, as they did not pass a Farm Bill extension, most programs will remain funded at their current level through the remainder of the calendar year. A vote on the revised Bill could now take place during Congress' lame-duck session in November or December.   

Foremost among the SNAP reform sticking points is the introduction of  expanded work requirements for an expanded number of people who rely on the program. The Senate and House both passed draft Bills earlier in the year and, while neither bill serves to strengthen food security in the United States, the House version includes dramatic cuts to SNAP that would affect more than 2 million individuals. Unlike the House bill, the Senate bill protects SNAP benefits and eligibility and would keep food on the table for struggling households.

There are 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, living in households struggling with hunger. SNAP is the primary safety net for these families, ensuring children have access to basic nutrition, such as fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, and an opportunity to lead a healthy life.  

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is monitoring Farm Bill movement and providing background resources and social media messaging for those ready to urge Congress to protect SNAP. 

October is Bullying Prevention Month

Obesity and bullying often coexist as part of a troubling cycle for children. Kids who are obese are more likely to be the recipients of stigma, body shaming and other bullying behavior. Children who are bullied are more likely to experience various forms of depression, as well as comorbidities such as binge-eating, which can contribute to obesity and other health complications.

With nearly 1 in 3 kids saying that they have been bullied at school, it is critical for adults to recognize and address bullying and interrupt a downward spiral of harmful effects on kids' health. Those effects of bullying, including depression, loss of sleep, and academic underachievement, can last all the way into adulthood. Bullying Awareness Month is also an opportunity to consider the language that we use when addressing children who are experiencing or at risk of obesity and avoid the stigma that can worsen depression.  

Bullying Prevention Month resources, including a child-focused curriculum, can be found at 

5-4-3-2-1 Go! Resources
fiveSMART Resources

  • The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has announced a new round of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding for Illinois. One hundred percent funding is being offered and municipalities and school districts are invited to apply for the benefit.   
    • No local match required
    • Eligible Infrastructure projects include Sidewalk Improvements, Traffic Calming/Speed Reduction Improvements, Traffic Control Devices, Pedestrian and Bicycle Crossing Improvements, On-Street Bicycle Facilities, Off-Street Bicycle Facilities, and Secure Bicycle Parking Facilities.
    • Eligible Non-Infrastructure projects include events, equipment, and supplies that help to address areas of Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Evaluation.
    • Applications accepted from Sept 24 to Nov 19, 2018.
    • Click here for details.
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has released a special call for proposals, through its national program Healthy Eating Research, focused on research to decrease consumption of sugary drinks and increase access to and consumption of safe water for 0-5 year olds in the U.S. Each grant will award up to $300,000 for up to 24 months. Projects must be able to inform the development of policy and environmental strategies and must have a clear impact on 0-5 year olds. Concept papers are due tomorrow, October 3, 2018 by 3:00 p.m. ETVisit RWJF's website to learn more.
T he Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) is a nationally recognized leader for community-based obesity prevention. We support, coordinate, and unite partners to promote healthy and active lifestyles for children and families. Our multi-sector approach emerged in Chicago and can be adapted for use anywhere.