Public Act 93-0555

SB76 Enrolled                        LRB093 02027 DRJ 02027 b

    AN ACT in relation to health and nutrition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Effective Date: 1/1/2004