Kentucky Coalition For Healthy Children Newsletter
Issue 1 | June 2022
Working collaboratively on policies and practices in and around schools that promote equity and improve the physical, social, and emotional health and well-being of children, youth, and families.
The opinions and viewpoints expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the positions of all coalition partners.
KCHC Member Highlights
The High Five for Health campaign that just launched is a partnership between the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Department of Education. It informs Kentucky students in grades K-12 and their parents of five habits they can form this summer to set themselves up for a successful school year. It includes animated videos, social media graphics, message points, and materials that other organizations can use. It also includes a free webinar on June 6th at 11 a.m. ET. You can register for that here.

June 14th @ 11 a.m. ET
The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will host a webinar on trans literacy in health advocacy on June 14 at 11 a.m. ET. Those in attendance will hear from LGBTQ community members and advocates on barriers to care for trans Kentuckians, what gender affirming care means for trans people of different ages, gain new skills in navigating sometimes challenging conversations about gender, and learn how to be a better ally to trans kids and adults.

June 28th @ 2 p.m. ET
Join ThriveKY for a forum with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services. Updates will be provided on the federal public health emergency and Medicaid renewals, P-EBT and SNAP, immunization rates for children, COVID-19 vaccines for children under age 5, and implementation of new legislation to reform public assistance programs (HB7) and to allow Certified Community Health Workers to bill Medicaid.

The Bounce Coalition encourages organizations to host a screening of Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope, a one-hour documentary delving into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and efforts to mitigate their impacts under the theory that what is predictable is preventable.
What's new in Children's Health
For more information on summer child feeding and the most up-to-date information, contact Kate McDonald  at Feeding Kentucky, and Lauren Moore and Cathy Gallagher (SFSP) at the Kentucky Department of Education Division of School and Community Nutrition. 
Policy Highlight: What you need to know about summer child feeding in Kentucky
The USDA has ended temporary flexibilities built into the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO). USDA waivers expire June 30. No Kid Hungry recently published this chart showing the differences between usual program provisions and the expired COVID-19 flexibilities. The big change for program recipients is that all meals must once again be eaten on site, and meal pick-up is unavailable. The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking flexibility to waive certain requirements for SFSP sites, which, if permitted, will be granted on a case-by-case basis or when COVID risk is high in a community. Advocates and program sites can use this summer meals outreach toolkit, which contains fliers like the one pictured here, as well as print materials in English and Spanish. 

This brief focuses on the advancements of Black children and adolescents in academics and more, and highlights policies and practices that have either helped facilitate or undermined those advancements as part of a series to expand knowledge about Black children and their families.

The Community Preventative Services Task Force (CPSTF), a panel of public health and prevention experts established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommends interventions to reduce bullying and positively impact the mental health of children.  

This new resource from Kentucky Youth Advocates offers a comprehensive overview of CCAP eligibility, application, and recertification. 

In this episode of The Brain Architects, a podcast from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, experts share insight into using the science of play to build resilience in children, both in school and at home.
In Your Community
FoodChain in Lexington gears up to serve thousands of meals to kids this summer. 
FoodChain, a Lexington-based nonprofit working to increase access to healthy, locally-grown food in Lexington, is entering its third summer with the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

While FoodChain served as an in-person site in 2019, the nonprofit has grown significantly during the pandemic. It now operates a meal delivery service, cooks and distributes community meals, and has increased its produce processing. The FDA’s temporary flexibilities made it possible for FoodChain to provide meals-to-go and deliver meals as part of the SFSP. But the end of those flexibilities coupled with the nonprofit’s expanded services means that FoodChain can neither serve meals on-site this year nor use pick-up and meal delivery models to feed kids. So, FoodChain is partnering with local summer camps and daycare centers to provide meals at those sites.
To check out volunteer opportunities with FoodChain, click here. If you’d like to learn more about FoodChain and its aquaponics farm, you can purchase tickets here to tour on Saturdays at 1pm. 
“A lot of these summer camps and daycare centers are located in low income and low access areas of town,” said Kristin Hughes, FoodChain education and outreach director. “The services these programs provide only complement our mission to forge links between community and fresh food through education and demonstration of sustainable food systems. Many of the partnered programs will also receive food literacy instruction in the form of cooking classes from us as well pairing the meals with increased kitchen confidence by youth in how to prepare similar meals at their homes.” 

While summer feeding sites are important every year, they are especially so this year. There are significantly fewer sponsors and sites this year than the previous two summers, and while FoodChain is committed to working with summer camps, most camps take place during June. Further, eliminating home delivery flexibility might result in kids in rural areas not being able to access summer feeding. This is amid high food costs due to inflation, and actions taken by the General Assembly that add barriers to getting and keeping SNAP benefits and end SNAP emergency allotments in Kentucky. Summer feeding sponsors and sites are more crucial than ever, and we all need to do our part to prevent child food insecurity in Kentucky this summer.  
Special Edition: Regular Session Recap
As with any legislative session, this one was full of both wins and losses for Kentucky kids. The Kentucky Coalition for Healthy Children took positions on a number of bills and mobilized members to get involved in the legislative process. This took the form of sending action alerts to members, posting calls to action on social media, and, when necessary, sending tailored messages to legislators with the power to advance bills.

Let’s start with the good news:
  • SB 102 will require schools to provide documentation of school-based mental health services providers to better assess whether schools are meeting benchmarks and providing adequate resources for kids.
  • HB 525 will streamline Community Health Worker certification and provide Medicaid reimbursement for their services.
  • SB 151 clarifies existing law to ensure that Kentucky schools can allocate the first fifteen minutes of instructional time to breakfast, which will help ensure that kids on free and reduced lunch start their school days with full stomachs.
  • SB 8 provides significant advances in the area of child abuse and neglect.
  • SB 105 adds cytomegalovirus to the newborn screening program.
  • HB 44 allows local school district policies to provide for mental health days for students.

On the other hand, bills passed by the General Assembly threaten public schools and low-income families:
  • SB 83 bans trans girls from competing in girls’ sports, citing fairness concerns for cisgender girls, despite no evidence that trans girls are threatening fair competition in girls’ sports.
  • SB 138, which became law as an amendment to SB 1, curtail teachers’ ability to teach openly and honestly about the legacy of racism and may cast a chilling effect on otherwise protected speech.
  • SB 1 will increase superintendent power at the expense of school councils.
  • While not as harmful as its original form, HB 7 will add new penalties and administrative barriers to tripwires and trapdoors to receiving and maintaining the public assistance programs (like SNAP, Medicaid, KCHIP, and KTAP) that are crucial to providing adequate care and nutrition to kids of low-income families, amid high prices at the pump and at the grocery store checkout. Work from advocates helped reduce the negative aspects of the bill.
  • The General Assembly also passed SJR 150, which ended the COVID-related state of emergency in Kentucky; this ends the period of universal maximum SNAP allotments and removes $50 million in SNAP dollars from the local economy.

Some of the bills KCHC prioritized, for better or worse, did not become law:

Bills the Kentucky Coalition for Healthy Children would have liked to see passed are
  • HB 226, the Read To Succeed Act, which was an effort to promote early childhood literacy.
  • HB 270, which would have required schools provide child abuse awareness and prevention education.

Bills the Coalition opposed that did not become law this session are
  • HB 51, which would have allowed public schools to ban wearing masks on campus, among other provisions affecting child-care centers.
  • SB 84, which would have banned gender-affirming treatment for transgender youth under 18 years old.
  • SB 40, which was stylized as an effort to protect parental rights but created significant concerns for public health measures, public education, and child abuse and neglect investigations.
Cook With Us!
Follow along as we make healthy, kid-friendly recipes with a focus on seasonal ingredients.

For extra nutrition, add a handful of chopped berries or nuts, or a sprinkle of chocolate chips for a treat.
Contact Us!
Do you have an upcoming event or exciting news to celebrate with our coalition? Please email Chloe Atwater at [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming KCHC Newsletter!
Amalia Mendoza | KCHC Newsletter | 502-326-2583
Current KCHC Members: