Healthy Food for Hungry People

History

Data compiled by: Paula Brewer, RD, CDN

  • 1980's
    • Several studies sponsored by anti-hunger advocates, universities and government agencies identify hunger as a public health concern in New York State.
  • 1984
    • New York State Department of Health and the State Legislature established the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which consisted of the SNAP Elderly Program, the SNAP Women, Infants and Children Program (SNAP WIC) and the SNAP Homeless and Destitute Program.
    • SNAP Homeless and Destitute (SNAP H/D) program was funded at $1 million dollars which was allocated to the New York State Food Banks to provide food to persons in need.
  • 1987
    • New York State Department of Health Census of Emergency Food Relief Organizations (EFROs) revealed that 1,557 food pantries and 327 soup kitchens were in operation, a total of 1884 EFROs.
    • Initiated Capital Equipment Grants for EFROs funded at approximately $1 million.
    • HPNAP dedicated staff added to the New York State Department of Health Metropolitan Regional Office in New York City.
  • 1989
    • In response to the recognition that the nutritional needs of persons needing emergency food assistance may be greater than those not needing emergency food, SNAP H/D initiated Nutrition Resource Manager (NRM) positions at the food banks. The NRM performs a significant role in developing, coordinating and implementing HPNAP initiatives in nutrition, food safety and food resource management.
  • By 1990
    • SNAP H/D funding increased to $10.6 million resulting in the first Request for Application (RFA) being distributed to EFROs for SNAP H/D funding.
  • 1990
    • RFA included separate funding for the following projects: Transportation, Gleaning, Operations Support, as well as Capital Equipment grants.
  • 1991
    • SNAP H/D contractor budgets included separate funds for Food Safety and Sanitation Supplies.
  • 1993
    • Development of the Transportation Project database which tracks the types of donated foods transported with these funds. This resulted in the ability to examine the types of foods available in the donated stream.
    • New York State Department of Health Census of Emergency Food Relief Organizations (EFROs) revealed that 1,881 food pantries and 504 soup kitchens were in operation, a total of 2385 EFROs.
  • 1994
    • SNAP H/D funding increased to $10.9 million from $10.6 million, and by 1995 had decreased to $10.84 million.
    • HPNAP dedicated staff added to the New York State Department of Health Western Regional Office in Buffalo. This additional staff person and other staff changes lead to a change in program focus to nutrition, resulting in the beginning development of the Minimum Nutrition Standards. These standards set minimum nutrition criteria for the types of food that can be purchased, transported and distributed with HPNAP funds.
    • NRM position added at Franklin County Community Action Program.
  • 1995
    • NRM position added at the United Way of New York City.
  • 1996
    • SNAP H/D funds supported the service of 64 million meals provided through food pantries and served at soup kitchens and shelters statewide.
    • New York State Department of Health Census of Emergency Food Relief Organizations (EFROs) revealed that 2,061 food pantries and 638 soup kitchens were in operation, a total of 2699 EFROs.
  • 1997
    • NRM position added at the Partnership for the Homeless in New York City, increasing the number of NRMs statewide to 11.
    • In recognition that the SNAP H/D operated as a nutrition program serving a population in need of emergency food assistance that included homeless and destitute persons, the name of the program was changed to the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP).
    • HPNAP receives $306,350 in USDA Food Stamp Nutrition Education funds to implement the "Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables" project creating three nutritionist positions to promote the intake of fruits and vegetables with food pantry clients. This project promotes one of the 3 core strategies of the NYS Department of Health's Eat Well Play Hard Initiative to prevent childhood obesity.
  • 1998
    • Distribution of the HPNAP Policy and Procedure Manual to all contractors. This manual mandated the use of the Minimum Nutrition Standard for all HPNAP funded meals and food packages.
  • 1999
    • HPNAP funds supported the service of over 100 million meals provided through food pantries and served at soup kitchens and shelters statewide.
    • $7.5 million in federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds is allocated to HPNAP, increasing total funding to $17.7 million.
    • TANF Eligibility Project (TEP) Survey administered to verify that TANF funds are being used to serve TANF eligible families (families at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines).
    • TANF funds provide for the creation of seed grants for new and innovative programs to increase food security and/or improve the health status of persons seeking emergency food assistance.
  • 2000
    • TANF funds increased to $14 million, increasing HPNAP's budget to $24.7 million.
  • 2001
    • Increases in Food Stamp Nutrition Education funds enable the expansion of the "Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables" (JSY) project to all eight food bank areas of the state increasing JSY nutritionists to eight.
    • TANF funds allowed the addition of six new HPNAP staff persons, one position each in the Metropolitan and Western Regional Offices and the Capital District Field Office and three positions in the Central Office. The two HPNAP staff persons assigned to the Capital District move to new offices in the Capital District Field Office in Troy.
    • HPNAP (SNAP and TANF) funds supported the service of over 106 million meals through food packages provided at food pantries and meals served at soup kitchens and shelters statewide.
  • 2002
    • Development of a more detailed list of foods, based on the Minimum Nutrition Standard, allowed for transport with HPNAP Transportation Project funds.
    • Decrease in TANF funds results in the elimination of seed grants.
    • Since 1998 requests for emergency food assistance has increased, with the amount of children served increasing by 44%, adults served by 26% and the elderly by 68%. Apparently more families with children and elderly are seeking emergency food assistance, changing the face of those experiencing food insecurity to families with children and the elderly from adults.
  • 2003
    • Formation of HPNAP Food Quality Steering Committee with representatives from HPNAP's major contractors, NYS food banks, to evaluate the nutritional quality of food purchased with HPNAP funds. This year long project resulted in revisions to enhance HPNAP's Minimum Nutrition Standard regarding purchased fruit juice and canned fruit.
  • 2004
    • HPNAP staff begins to work on HPNAP's Request for Application (RFA) for Funding for the time period 2005 through 2010, the 3rd RFA in HPNAP's history. Recognizing the need to improve the nutritional quality of food provided to persons in need of emergency food assistance, this RFA will include funds for special nutrition initiatives.
  • 2005
    • In an effort to target HPNAP's limited funds to those EFROs that are not eligible for other public funds, HPNAP begins to restrict funding available to emergency shelters and kids cafes that receive other governmental support.
    • HPNAP continues to improve the nutritional quality of HPNAP supported food through policy revisions mandating that contractors with a HPNAP purchased food budget line annually expend a minimum of 5% of these funds on the purchase of fresh produce and 1% of these funds on the purchase of 1% or less fat fluid milk.
  • 2006
    • HPNAP begins a new 5-year contract cycle contracting with the 8 regional food banks in NYS and 40 direct service projects, including 2 special projects. These special projects are funded to increase the amount of high quality fresh produce available in the emergency food network.
  • 2007
    • To increase the availability of nutritious food in the emergency food network, contractors must spend approximately 10% of their food budget on the purchase of fresh produce and 2% on the purchase of 1% or less fat fluid milk. These HPNAP funds are identified as separate HPNAP budget lines.
  • 2008
    • o Recognizing that emergency food clients deserve to be treated with dignity, HPNAP implements the Client Choice Food Pantry Initiative. A client choice food pantry allows customers to select the food that they want from the pantry. This initiative requires Food Bank and United Way Contractors to allocate a minimum of $20,000 to convert food pantries to client choice operations.
  • 2009
    • HPNAP joins forces with the Food Bank Association of New York State to promote New York State grown fresh produce. Food Banks and all HPNAP contractors are encouraged to purchase NYS grown fresh produce and report the amount of HPNAP dollars spent on this produce.
    • To ensure the consistent availability of whole grain foods, food purchased with HPNAP funds at Food Bank and United Way Contractors must always include whole grain cereal.
  • 2010
    • Whole grain cereal policy expanded to include other whole grain foods such as whole wheat bread and brown rice
    • To ensure the consistent availability of lean meats, foods purchased with HPNAP funds at Food Bank and United Way Contractors must always include at least two different types of lean meats
    • Over 2600 HPNAP supported food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters received approximately 30 million requests for food assistance. Children accounted for 28% of all the persons receiving food from HPNAP supported food pantries; the elderly accounted for 13%. In total, approximately187 million food pantry, soup kitchen and shelter meals were enhanced with HPNAP funded nutritious food.
  • 2011
    • Over 2600 HPNAP supported food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters received approximately 30.1 million requests for food assistance. Children accounted for 29% of all the persons receiving food from HPNAP supported food pantries; the elderly accounted for 13%. In total, approximately 195 million food pantry, soup kitchen and shelter meals were enhanced with HPNAP funded nutritious food