Summary: H.R.4060 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (08/08/1988)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Emergency Hunger Relief Act of 1988 - Title I: Emergency Hunger Prevention - Subtitle A: Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program - Amends the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to establish procedures for non-Federal commodity contributions to Federal food assistance programs. Authorizes States and feeding organizations to use temporary emergency food assistance program (TEFAP) funds, equipment, and facilities to store, handle, and distribute such commodity contributions.

Directs State and local agencies to continue to use volunteers and donated food stuffs in food distribution programs.

Extends TEFAP, including storage and distribution authorizations, through FY 1989.

Increases the amount of TEFAP funds for emergency feeding organizations.

Extends TEFAP commodity estimate requirements through FY 1989.

Directs the Secretary to make $70,000,000 worth of additional commodities available for food assistance in FY 1989. Requires the Secretary to provide the Congress with a State-by-State summary of commodity allocations by September 30, 1989. Authorizes program appropriations.

Subtitle B: Soup Kitchens and Food Banks - Directs the Secretary to spend $40,000,000 in FY 1989 to purchase additional commodities for States for distribution to food banks and feeding organizations. Authorizes appropriations.

Establishes in the Department of Agriculture's Extension Service a National Gleaning Clearinghouse to: (1) encourage gleaning activities; (2) collect and make available gleaning information; (3) operate a related toll-free telephone line; (4) organize gleaning groups; and (5) distribute gleaned agricultural products. Authorizes FY 1989 and 1990 appropriations.

Subtitle C: Food Processing and Distribution - Directs the Secretary, within 60 days of enactment of this Act, to solicit applications for surplus commodities available for distribution under TEFAP. Requires applicants to: (1) process and package commodities into end-use products for use by individual households; and (2) distribute such products to State TEFAP agencies. Requires application approval or disapproval within 60 days of receipt.

Subtitle D: Commodity Supplemental Food Program - Directs the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to make 7,000,000 pounds of cheese available in each of FY 1989 and 1990 to the commodity supplemental food program.

Title II: Nutrition Improvements - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to revise the method for determining annual basic food stamp program (program) benefit levels.

Makes permanent categorical program eligibility based on eligibility for specified social security programs.

States that: (1) households not required to submit monthly income reports shall have their income calculated on a prospective basis; and (2) households required to submit monthly income reports shall have their income calculated on a retrospective basis, except under specified circumstances.

Repeals the requirement of prior approval by the Secretary for less than monthly income reporting of certain households. Prohibits a state agency from requiring periodic reporting of households: (1) made up entirely of migrant or seasonal farm workers; (2) made up entirely of homeless persons; or (3) with no earned income and in which all adult members are elderly or disabled.

Requires that households reporting monthly be provided with clear and understandable reporting forms.

Extends the scope of program informational activities.

Amends the Homeless Eligibility Clarification Act to make permanent the authority for homeless persons in shelters to receive food stamps.

Title III: Administrative Improvements and Simplification - Subtitle A: Reducing Unnecessary Paperwork - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to direct the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to assist States to develop simple application forms for food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and Medicaid.

Requires State agencies to provide applicant households with a statement of required program verification. Bars program denial because of the failure of a person outside the household to cooperate in such verification.

Subtitle B: Assuring Accurate Issuance of Benefits - Requires State agencies to promptly restore improperly denied, terminated, or underissued benefits when a household's loss is discovered through a review procedure.

Authorizes State agencies to provide special training to personnel involved in certifying households that include a member involved in farming. Requires the Secretary to annually publish instructional materials for such certifying personnel.

Authorizes State agencies to provide training and assistance to persons working with volunteer or nonprofit organizations which provide applicant screening and information services.

Requires State agencies to provide households with a statement describing the household's reporting responsibilities at the time of each certification and recertification, including local or toll-free information numbers.

Subtitle C: Reducing Barriers in Rural America - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to permit households subject to benefit prorating to receive an aggregate benefit allotment.

Waives in-office program interviews, upon household request, for certain households with elderly or handicapped adults or with transportation difficulties.

Subtitle D: Eliminating Inequities for Farmers and Others - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to continue program benefits to participants who receive pay-outs, including direct cash payments, from other Federal assistance programs.

Permits households with self-employed farming income and irregular expenses to annualize income and expenses.

Excludes from financial resources farm property (land, equipment, or supplies) for a one-year period after a self-employed farmer ceases farming.

Authorizes the Secretary, under specified conditions, to impose a civil penalty of $20,000 in lieu of disqualification with regard to a retail food store or wholesale concern that purchases or trafficks in program coupons.

Subtitle E: Reducing Barriers for the Elderly and Disabled - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to amend the definition of "disabled person" for program purposes to include the following benefits if such benefits are conditioned on criteria at least as stringent as those used under the Social Security Act: (1) interim supplemental security income benefits; (2) disability-related medical assistance under Medicaid; and (3) disability-based State assistance.

Provides elderly and disabled persons with a simplified procedure for claiming excess medical deductions.

Provides for a coordinated aid to families with dependent children-food stamp application.

Title IV: Family Self-Sufficiency - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to exclude advance earned income tax credits from income considered for program purposes.

Title V: Improving Payment Accuracy - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to direct the Secretary to review a State agency's program investment plan when settling a claim arising under such Act.

Makes States liable for interest payments on error claims against them which they have not paid within 30 days of receipt.

Revises administrative and judicial review provisions. Prohibits a State from seeking relief beyond the Secretary's determination regarding its failure to meet error tolerance levels.

Provides for a payment accuracy improvement system which will require State agencies with high error rates to share in the cost of payment error and provide enhanced administrative funding to States with the lowest error rates. Requires States to provide the Secretary with annual program information. Requires the Secretary to: (1) make an assessment of the feasibility of measuring payment errors due to improper denials and terminations of benefits or of otherwise developing financial consequence-based performance standards and report to the Congress by July 1, 1990; and (2) evaluate the effectiveness of the payment accuracy improvement system and report to the Congress no later than three years from the date of enactment of this Act.

Title VI: Implementation - Sets forth specified effective dates for provisions of this Act.