Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0076
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Full Text of SB0076  93rd General Assembly

SB0076enr 93rd General Assembly


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 1        AN ACT in relation to health and nutrition.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  1.  Short  title.   This Act may be cited as the
 5    Nutrition Outreach and Public Education Act.

 6        Section 5.  Legislative findings.  The  General  Assembly
 7    finds  a  definite  correlation  between  proper  health  and
 8    adequate   diet  and  nutrition  and  hereby  recognizes  the
 9    importance of federal food and nutrition assistance  programs
10    in  minimizing  the incidence of hunger and nutrition related
11    health problems for those who participate in such programs.
12        The  General  Assembly  also  finds  that  a  significant
13    portion of otherwise eligible residents of  Illinois  do  not
14    participate in existing federal food assistance programs such
15    as  the  food  stamp  program,  school  lunch  and  breakfast
16    programs, child care food programs, summer food programs, the
17    special supplemental program for women, infants and children,
18    congregate  meal  programs, and home-delivered meal programs.
19    That lack of participation  is,  in  the  General  Assembly's
20    view,  due  predominantly  to  a  lack  of  adequate  program
21    information  as  to eligibility and application procedures, a
22    lack of access to  and  in  many  instances  availability  of
23    benefits  under  those  federal food assistance programs, and
24    the  unavailability  of  federal  funding  specifically   for
25    outreach efforts to expand program coverage and participation
26    among eligible persons.
27        The  General Assembly believes that it is in the interest
28    of the public health of the economically vulnerable residents
29    of  Illinois  to  establish  a  program  of   community-based
30    nutrition outreach to enroll eligible targeted populations in
31    federal  food  and nutrition assistance programs designed for
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 1    them and to promote the fuller implementation and utilization
 2    of  federal  food  assistance   programs   in   unserved   or
 3    underserved areas.

 4        Section  10.  Definitions.   As  used in this Act, unless
 5    the context requires otherwise:
 6        "At-risk populations" means populations including but not
 7    limited to families with children receiving aid under Article
 8    IV of the Illinois  Public  Aid  Code,  households  receiving
 9    federal  supplemental  security  income  payments, households
10    with incomes at or  below  185%  of  the  poverty  guidelines
11    updated   annually  in  the  Federal  Register  by  the  U.S.
12    Department of Health and Human Services  under  authority  of
13    Section  673(2)  of  the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of
14    1981, recipients  of  emergency  food,  elderly  or  disabled
15    persons,  homeless  persons, unemployed persons, and families
16    and persons residing in rural households who are at  risk  of
17    nutritional deficiencies.
18        "Secretary" means the Secretary of Human Services.
19        "Food  assistance  programs" means programs including but
20    not limited to the food stamp program, school  breakfast  and
21    lunch programs, child care food programs, summer food service
22    programs,   the  special  supplemental  programs  for  women,
23    infants  and  children,   congregate   meal   programs,   and
24    home-delivered meal programs.
25        "High-risk  area"  means any county or urban area where a
26    significant  percentage  or  number  of   those   potentially
27    eligible  for  food assistance programs are not participating
28    in such programs.

29        Section  15.  Program  established.   The  Department  of
30    Human Services  shall  establish  a  nutrition  outreach  and
31    public   education   program,  to  be  administered  by  that
32    Department in cooperation with the Department  on  Aging  and
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 1    the  State Superintendent of Education.  The program shall be
 2    established  to  ensure  maximum  participation  by  eligible
 3    persons in federal and State food assistance  programs.   The
 4    program  shall  be structured so as to increase participation
 5    statewide but with particular attention  to  high-risk  areas
 6    with a focus on certain at-risk populations.

 7        Section   20.  Program  features.   Directly  or  through
 8    contract,  the  Secretary  shall  administer  a  program   of
 9    nutrition  outreach  that  shall  include  but  shall  not be
10    limited to the following features:
11             (1)  Statewide coordination.
12             (2)  Coordination of efforts among State  and  local
13        agencies,  including but not limited to the Department of
14        Human  Services,  the  Department  on  Aging,  the  State
15        Superintendent  of  Education,  and  community   agencies
16        involved in food assistance programs.
17             (3)  Compilation  of statistical data from State and
18        local   agencies   and   dissemination    to    community
19        organizations.
20             (4)  Provision of information as to the availability
21        of,  eligibility criteria for, and application procedures
22        for food assistance programs.
23             (5)  Nutrition education.

24        Section  25.  Grants  to  community  organizations.   The
25    Secretary shall make grants from moneys appropriated for that
26    purpose to  community-based  organizations  or  consortia  of
27    community-based organizations in high-risk areas for outreach
28    activities.  The  outreach activities shall include but shall
29    not be limited to the following:
30             (1)  Identifying barriers to participation  in  food
31        assistance programs, including the unavailability of such
32        programs.
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 1             (2)  Identifying at-risk populations and individuals
 2        within the at-risk populations who are not participating.
 3             (3)  Disseminating  information  to  and  conducting
 4        training sessions for local groups.
 5             (4)  Disseminating   information   as   to   program
 6        availability,  individual  or  household eligibility, and
 7        application procedures.
 8             (5)  Providing  nutrition  education   for   at-risk
 9        populations.
10             (6)  Assisting  families  and individuals in meeting
11        eligibility requirements.

12        Section   30.  Criteria   for   high-risk   areas.     In
13    determining   whether  a  particular  geographic  area  is  a
14    high-risk area and eligible for a grant,  the  Secretary  may
15    consider factors including but not limited to the following:
16             (1)  Whether   50%  or  more  of  those  potentially
17        eligible are not participating in the food stamp program,
18        or  whether  a  significant  number  of  the  potentially
19        eligible population, particularly the  working  poor  and
20        the elderly, are not participating.
21             (2)  Whether   25%  or  more  of  the  children  are
22        eligible for free or reduced-price meals  in  the  school
23        lunch program.
24             (3)  Infant mortality or morbidity rates.
25             (4)  Economic  indicators  including but not limited
26        to the unemployment rate, prevailing  wages,  and  recent
27        loss of job base.
28             (5)  A high concentration of at-risk populations.
29             (6)  The  unavailability of food assistance programs
30        in the area because of lack of provider participation  or
31        lack of knowledge about the existence of such programs.

32        Section  35.  Reports.   The Secretary shall report on or
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 1    before January 1 of each year to the Governor and the General
 2    Assembly concerning  the  implementation  of  this  Act.  The
 3    report    shall   include   information   as   to   community
 4    organizations funded  through  grants,  the  effects  of  the
 5    nutrition   outreach   and   public   education   program  on
 6    participation    in    food    assistance    programs,    and
 7    recommendations regarding expansion of the nutrition outreach
 8    and public education program.

 9        Section  40.  Performance  contingent  on  funding.   The
10    performance  of activities required by this Act is contingent
11    on the appropriation of funds for the  purpose  of  nutrition
12    outreach and public education.