Every five years the window of opportunity opens on Capitol Hill as lawmakers and their staff work together to improve, tweak and reauthorize the federal Child Nutrition Programs. During this time a bevy of questions are asked: what works well? What isn’t working? How can we address new needs? For school nutrition professionals and SNA as the voice of school nutrition, Child Nutrition Reauthorization brings with it a special responsibility to answer these questions in order to ensure quality, healthy, safe meals are provided to children every school day.
The School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program are permanently authorized. However the other child nutrition programs that affect school nutrition operators must be reauthorized every five years. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), State Administrative Expenses (SAE), the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and other smaller pieces of the complete package of child nutrition programs must be renewed because they have actual expiration dates. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 expired on September 30, 2009 was extended until September 30, 2010.
SNA co-chairs the Child Nutrition Forum along with the Food Research and Action Center. The Forum is a diverse group of organizations that comes together every five years during child nutrition reauthorization to help create legislation that promotes access to healthy food for all children.
You will find resources, links and other information on Reauthorization below, continually updated.