Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (08/11/1988)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Hunger Prevention 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 state that the dairy export incentive program and the export sales of dairy products program shall not be operated in a way that will reduce the dairy products available for the temporary emergency food assistance program (TEFAP) or any other domestic feeding program.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish procedures for non-Federal commodity contributions to Federal food assistance programs. Authorizes States and feeding organizations to use TEFAP funds, equipment, and facilities to store, handle, and distribute such commodity contributions. Permits States to use up to three percent of TEFAP funds for food assistance information programs. 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 1990.

Increases the amount of TEFAP funds for emergency feeding organizations.

Extends TEFAP commodity estimate requirements through FY 1990.

Directs the Secretary, during each of FY 1989 and 1990, to purchase and make available for food assistance at least $120,000,000 worth of additional commodities. Establishes a State distribution formula based on 60 percent poverty level and 40 percent unemployment. Authorizes the reallocation of such commodities in the event of drought or natural disaster. Authorizes appropriations.

Authorizes States to use TEFAP funds for the costs of distributing additional commodities to: (1) emergency feeding organizations, soup kitchens, and other meal sites and charitable organizations; and (2) such additional commodity program.

Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to extend through FY 1990: (1) the dairy export incentive program; and (2) the export sales of dairy products programs.

Subtitle B: Soup Kitchens and Other Emergency Food Aid - Directs the Secretary, during each of FY 1989 through 1991, to purchase and make available additional commodities to States for soup kitchens and other meal sites and charitable organizations ($40,000,000 in each of FY 1989 and 1990 and $32,000,000 in FY 1991). Establishes a State distribution formula based on 60 percent poverty level and 40 percent unemployment. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to provide State and local agencies with information and technical assistance in order to carry out gleaning activities. Authorizes FY 1989 and 1990 appropriations.

Subtitle C: Basic Food Stamp Benefit Levels - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to make specified increases in basic food stamp benefit levels.

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 - Subtitle A: Food Stamp Act of 1977 - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to makes permanent categorical food stamp program (program) eligibility based on eligibility for specified social security programs.

Exempts households with an elderly or disabled member from monthly income tests.

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.

Permits households subject to benefit prorating to receive an aggregate benefit allotment.

Extends the scope of program information activities.

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

Subtitle B: Child Nutrition Act of 1966, and National School Lunch Act - Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to increase the school breakfast program reimbursement rate by three cents per meal (to six cents per meal).

Amends the National School Lunch Act to provide an additional meal or snack to children who attend day care centers which are open more than eight hours a day.

Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to define "homeless individual" for purposes of the special supplemental food program (WIC) as an individual who: (1) lacks a fixed and regular nighttime residence; or (2) has a primary nighttime residence that is a publicly or privately operated temporary shelter, an institution providing temporary residence for persons intended to be institutionalized, temporary accommodation in another individual's residence, or a public or private place not normally used as a sleeping accommodation.

Makes homeless individuals eligible for the WIC program.

Amends the National School Lunch Act to permit public or private nonprofit higher education institutions participating in the National Youth Sports program and certain private nonprofit organizations to participate in the summer food program.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide agricultural commodities in excess of other programs' requirements to the Department of Defense child care feeding program.

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.

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.

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 - Waives in-office food stamp (program) interviews, upon request, for certain households with elderly or handicapped adults, or with transportation difficultires.

Subtitle D: Eliminating Inequities for Farmers and Others - Continues 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 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 procedure 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 - Excludes from being considered as income for food stamp program purposes: (1) advance earned income tax credit payments; and (2) dependent care reimbursements under an employment and training program. Increases such maximum reimbursements from $160 per household per month to $160 per dependent per month.

Provides, with regard to such employment and training programs, that: (1) the Secretary shall issue regulations under which State agencies shall establish conciliation procedures; (2) Federal funds shall not be used to supplant non-Federal funds for existing services; (3) transportation costs up to $25 per participant per month shall be covered; (4) dependent care expenses of up to $160 per participant per month be covered; (5) the Secretary shall establish State performance standards based on employment and achievement of self-sufficiency; and (6) the Secretary shall develop and transmit to the appropriate congressional committees incentive payment proposals.

Title V: Demonstration Projects - Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to authorize three-year demonstration project grants in ten States to provide coupons (between ten and 20 dollars worth) to WIC recipients for use at farmers' markets.

Requires at least 30 percent State matching funds.

Prohibits the use of funds to construct or operate a farmers' market. Limits the use of funds for administrative costs.

Requires: (1) State recipients to make annual reports to the Secretary; and (2) the Secretary to provide the appropriate congressional committees with a project evaluation report within two years after the last grant award.

Authorizes FY 1989 through 1991 appropriations.

Authorizes the Secretary to carry out food bank commodity distribution projects. Requires the Secretary to submit a program report to the appropriate congressional committees by July 1,, 1990. Terminates program authority on September 30, 1990. Authorizes FY 1989 and 1990 appropriations.

Directs the Secretary, within 30 days after enactment of this Act but not earlier than October 1, 1988, to conduct a one-State demonstration project to reimburse family or group day care centers for providing an additional meal or supplement in order to determine: (1) if such additional meal or supplement increases child care food program participation; (2) the extent to which meal services increase in such homes; and (3) the nutritional impact of such meals and supplements. Requires the Secretary to submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees. Terminates the project not later than 12 months after its initiation.

Authorizes the Secretary to carry out: (1) one or more pilot projects for the development and use of intelligent computer benefit cards to pay program benefits; and (2) studies of the effectiveness of the employment and training program.

Title VI: 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 errors 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 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 VII: Implementation - Sets forth: (1) specified effective dates for provisions of this Act; and (2) sequestration provisions.