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State childhood hunger challenge grants   

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(a) Definitions. In this section:

(1) Child. The term "child" means a person under the age of 18.

(2) Supplemental nutrition assistance program. The term "supplemental nutrition assistance program" means the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 USC 2011 et seq.).

(b) Purpose. Under such terms and conditions as are established by the Secretary, funds made available under this section may be used to competitively award grants to or enter into cooperative agreements with Governors to carry out comprehensive and innovative strategies to end childhood hunger, including alternative models for service delivery and benefit levels that promote the reduction or elimination of childhood hunger by 2015.

(c) Projects. State demonstration projects carried out under this section may include projects that--

(1) enhance benefits provided under the supplemental nutrition assistance program for eligible households with children;

(2) enhance benefits or provide for innovative program delivery models in the school meals, afterschool snack, and child and adult care food programs under this Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 USC 1771 et seq.);

(3) target Federal, State, or local assistance, including emergency housing, family preservation services, child care, or temporary assistance at households with children who are experiencing hunger or food insecurity, to the extent permitted by the legal authority establishing those assistance programs and services;

(4) enhance outreach to increase access and participation in Federal nutrition assistance programs; and

(5) improve the coordination of Federal, State, and community resources and services aimed at preventing food insecurity and hunger, including through the establishment and expansion of State food policy councils.

(d) Grants.

(1) In general. In carrying out this section, the Secretary may competitively award grants or enter into competitively awarded cooperative agreements with Governors for use in accordance with demonstration projects that meet the purposes of this section.

(2) Application. To be eligible to receive a grant or cooperative agreement under this section, a Governor shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(3) Selection criteria. The Secretary shall evaluate proposals based on publicly disseminated criteria that may include--

(A) an identification of a low-income target group that reflects individuals experiencing hunger or food insecurity;

(B) a commitment to approaches that allow for a rigorous outcome evaluation as described in subsection (f);

(C) a comprehensive and innovative strategy to reduce the risk of childhood hunger or provide a significant improvement to the food security status of households with children; and

(D) such other criteria as are determined by the Secretary.

(4) Requirements. Any project funded under this section shall provide for--

(A) a baseline assessment, and subsequent annual assessments, of the prevalence and severity of very low food security among children in the State, based on a methodology prescribed by the Secretary;

(B) a collaborative planning process including key stakeholders in the State that results in a comprehensive agenda to eliminate childhood hunger that is--

(i) described in a detailed project plan; and

(ii) provided to the Secretary for approval;

(C) an annual budget;

(D) specific performance goals, including the goal to sharply reduce or eliminate food insecurity among children in the State by 2015, as determined through a methodology prescribed by the Secretary and carried out by the Governor; and

(E) an independent outcome evaluation of not less than 1 major strategy of the project that measures--

(i) the specific impact of the strategy on food insecurity among children in the State; and

(ii) if applicable, the nutrition assistance participation rate among children in the State.

(e) Consultation. In determining the range of projects and defining selection criteria under this section, the Secretary shall consult with--

(1) the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

(2) the Secretary of Labor;

(3) the Secretary of Education; and

(4) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

(f) Evaluation and reporting.

(1) General performance assessment. Each project authorized under this section shall require an independent assessment that--

(A) measures the impact of any activities carried out under the project on the level of food insecurity in the State that--

(i) focuses particularly on the level of food insecurity among children in the State; and

(ii) includes a preimplementation baseline and annual measurements taken during the project of the level of food insecurity in the State; and

(B) is carried out using a methodology prescribed by the Secretary.

(2) Independent evaluation. Each project authorized under this section shall provide for an independent evaluation of not less than 1 major strategy that--

(A) measures the impact of the strategy on appropriate participation, food security, nutrition, and associated behavioral outcomes among participating households; and

(B) uses rigorous experimental designs and methodologies, particularly random assignment or other methods that are capable of producing scientifically valid information regarding which activities are effective in reducing the prevalence or preventing the incidence of food insecurity and hunger in the community, especially among children.

(3) Reporting. Not later than December 31, 2011 and each December 31 thereafter until the date on which the last evaluation under paragraph (1) is completed, the Secretary shall--

(A) submit to the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that includes a description of--

(i) the status of each State demonstration project; and

(ii) the results of any evaluations of the demonstration projects completed during the previous fiscal year; and

(B) ensure that the evaluation results are shared broadly to inform policy makers, service providers, other partners, and the public in order to promote the wide use of successful strategies.

(g) Authorization of appropriations.

(1) In general. There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as are necessary for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2014, to remain available until expended.

(2) Use of funds. Funds made available under paragraph (1) may be used to carry out this section, including to pay Federal costs associated with developing, soliciting, awarding, monitoring, evaluating, and disseminating the results of each demonstration project under this section.

(3) Limitations.

(A) Duration. No project may be funded under this section for more than 5 years.

(B) Performance basis. Funds provided under this section shall be made available to each Governor on an annual basis, with the amount of funds provided for each year contingent on the satisfactory implementation of the project plan and progress towards the performance goals defined in the project year plan.

(C) Altering nutrition assistance program requirements. No project that makes use of, alters, or coordinates with the supplemental nutrition assistance program may be funded under this section unless the project is fully consistent with the project requirements described in section 17(b)(1)(B) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 USC 2026(b)(1)(B)).

(D) Other benefits. Funds made available under this section may not be used for any project in a manner that is inconsistent with--

(i) this Act [42 USC 1751 et seq.];

(ii) the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 USC 1771 et seq.);

(iii) the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 USC 2011 et seq.); or

(iv) the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 (7 USC 7501 et seq.).

(Dec. 13, 2010, P.L. 111-296)