Anti-hunger Empowerment Act of 2017
This bill reduces administrative requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program), authorizes funding to increase access to SNAP offices, and authorizes grants for community-based nonprofits to expand anti-hunger activities.
The bill amends the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to repeal existing provisions regarding administrative costs and authorize the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to pay 75% of the administrative costs for state agencies to increase the operating hours of SNAP offices, reduce wait times, accept online applications, upgrade technology, and provide a checklist of required documents.
If a state agency believes that information provided by a SNAP applicant is incorrect or incomplete, the agency must notify the applicant in writing and include instructions for providing the required information. Unless the information is not provided in response to the request or it cannot be verified, a state must not require an applicant to appear in person. State agencies must not require fingerprints for any member of a household to participate in SNAP or receive benefits.
USDA must report annually to Congress on the comparative progress of states in improving access to SNAP.
Beyond the Soup Kitchen Grants Program Act of 2017
The bill establishes a Beyond the Soup Kitchen Pilot Program to provide grants to community-based nonprofit feeding and anti-hunger groups for programs to reduce hunger, increase the use of nutrition assistance and anti-poverty programs, bolster food security, assist individuals and families to develop assets, promote economic independence, improve nutrition, and reduce obesity.
Authorizes a program that assists government agencies and nonprofit groups to increase the number of sites (and participation in existing sites) for after-school snacks and meals programs under the summer food service program for children authorized under section 13 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1766) and the child and adult care food program authorized under section 17 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1761).