Farm Bill 2018: Guide to Other Proposed Changes in the Nutrition Title 
  Mary Zaki
  University of Maryland 
  Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
  University of Maryland Extension
     
  HOUSE BILL SENATE BILL
  Proposed Changes Proposed Changes
  Nutrition Education (H.R. 2, sec. 4033) Nutrition Education State Plans (S. 3042, sec. 4113)
  Would combine SNAP Nutrition Education (SNAP-Ed) with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Would shift who carries out the program from states to land grant universities. Would Shift implementation of program from State agencies to the Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service. Allocates funds to states based on number of SNAP participants in each state. Requires institutions, to the extent that it is possible, to provide for the
employment and training of professional and paraprofessional aides from the target population to engage in direct nutrition education.
Requires state nutrition education programs use an electronic reporting system that measures and evaluates programs. Requires the State agency to submit an annual evaluation to the Secretary. Directs the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service to consult with the Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to coordinate activities of SNAP-ed and EFNEP.
  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: +$632 million  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: No cost change listed in CBO analysis
     
  Promoting Healthy Eating and Decreased Food Insecurity (H.R. 2, sec. 4002, 4003, 4030 and 4204) Promoting Healthy Eating and Decreased Food Insecurity (S. 3042, sec. 4105, 4112, 4202, 4303 and 4304)
  Establishes a retailer-funded incentives pilot project in which retail food stores may provide bonuses to SNAP households when they purchase fruits, vegetables and milk. Renames the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program (FINI) the Gus Schumacher Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program, reauthorizes the program till fiscal year 2023, limits program incentives to financial incentives, updates program priorities and requires the establishment of a center to aid grantees. Sanctions pilot projects to support public-private partnerships that address food insecurity and poverty. Amends the Fruit and Vegetable School Lunch program by adding canned, dried, frozen and pureed foods as options along with fresh.  Clarifies the waiver process to allow retailers to offer retail incentives to SNAP households for purchasing certain foods recommended by Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Lowers the maximum total amount of grants for the Assistance for community food projects from $9 million annually to $5 million annually. Requires that states set a minimum certification of 1 year for elderly Commodity supplemental food program participants and allows states to set a certification period of 3 years for elderly participants. Renames the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program (FINI) the Gus Schumacher food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program, makes program clarifications for this program, requires the establishment of a training center to help grantees and an evaluation center to process, store and analyze data, and requires an evaluation of projects. Establishes the Harvesting health pilot projects in which non-profits or State and local agencies would partner with health-care providers to provide fruits and vegetables to low-income individuals that are vulnerable to developing a diet-related health condition. 
  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: +$1,676 million Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: +$421 million
     
  Emergency Food Assistance (H.R. 2, sec. 4032) Emergency Food Assistance Program (S. 3042, sec. 4114)
  Increases the amount of commodities purchased for each fiscal year from 2019 through 2023 by $45,000,000 (before adjustments) and establishes a Farm-to-Food-Bank fund of $20,000,000 for food banks to procure excess fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the state or surrounding regions.   Increases the amount of commodities purchased for each fiscal year from 2019 through 2023 by approximately $5,000,000 (before adjustments). Provides $10,000,000 per year though fiscal year 2023 for State agencies to partner with emergency feeding organizations to establish projects to harvest, process, or package commodities that are donated by agricultural producers, processors, or distributors. Requires the Secretary to issue guidance outlining best practices to minimize food waste of  donated commodities. Provides emergency feeding organizations the opportunity to provide input on the commodity needs and preferences. Extends the authorization of appropriations for emergency food program infrastructure grants through fiscal year 2023.
  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: +$499 million Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: +$106 million
     
  Error and Fraud Minimization Initiatives (H.R. 2, sec. 4001, 4022, 4023, 4028, 4029 ) Error and Fraud Minimization Initiatives  (S. 3042, sec. 4106-4109)
  Establishes the Duplicative Enrollment Database to be used to prevent SNAP participants from receiving duplicate benefits in multiple States and mandates the Secretary to publish an annual report using that analyzes SNAP participant characteristics from data from the database. Requires the routing of all SNAP transactions through a national gateway for the purposes of transaction validation and settlement which after fiscal year 2023 will be sustained by the payment of fees by benefit issuers and third-party processors. Requires that access to the system that holds all SNAP records be given to the Secretary for the purpose of oversight. Adjusts the tolerance level for payment errors from $37 to $0. Repeals bonuses for States with improved or high performance indicators with respect to minimizing errors.  Requires State agencies to contact households to verify certain information received from data matches. Allows the Secretary to conduct pilot projects that would test methods to verify earned income at certification. Establishes an Interstate data matching system to be used to prevent SNAP participants from receiving duplicate benefits in multiple States. Requires that access to the system that holds all SNAP records be given to the Secretary for the purpose of oversight and for the Secretary to issue an interim final regulations to ensure the integrity of the quality control system. Requires the Secretary to debar persons who knowingly submits false quality control information and eliminates performance bonuses to States related to error minimization.
  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: −$419 million. Decreases in costs from prevention of duplicate disbursements of SNAP and preemption of state bonuses. Relatively significant positive costs from national gateway. Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: −$998 million. Decreases in costs from prevention of duplicate disbursements of SNAP and preemption of state bonuses. Slight positive cost from income verification pilots. 
     
  Technology and Information Updates (H.R. 2, sec. 4004, 4016, 4017, 4021, 4025, 4026) Requirement of Live-Production Environments for Certain Pilot Projects Relating to Cost Sharing for Computerization  (S. 3042, sec. 4110)
  Mandates the re-evaluation of thrifty food plan by 2022, and
at five-year intervals. Allows for periodic review of ways to
modernize EBT regulations taking into account evolving technologies and methods to protect against fraud and abuse such as personal identification numbers and photographic identification on EBT cards. Requires the availability of use of mobile technologies for the redemption of SNAP benefits pending the completion of authorized demonstrations unless the Secretary determines it to not be in the best interest of the SNAP program. Requires the nationwide implementation of online acceptance of benefits and includes online entities in the definition of a "retail food store." Drops the funding objective of improving access to SNAP for eligible households from grant and limits grants to funding projects that use technological modernization to simplify supplemental nutrition assistance program application and eligibility determination systems. Mandates a SNAP benefit transfer transaction data report be produced at least once every two years that includes information on what items  are purchased using SNAP benefits and at what cost. 
Makes it mandatory that states test any major system changes (that automate data processing and information retrieval) with pilots in a live production environment prior to implementation.
  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: +$42 million for mobile technologies and SNAP benefit transaction data report. Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: No cost change listed in CBO analysis
     
  SNAP Benefit Delivery and Recovery (H.R. 2, sec. 4018-4020, 4027) Improvements to electronic benefit transfer system  (S. 3042, sec. 4104)
  Prohibits EBT contractors from charging processing fees for switching or routing EBT transactions. In the rules for replacement of EBT cards the head of household is now required to review program rights and responsibilities after two or more lost cards in a 12-month period instead of after an "excess number of lost cards." Adjusts time for benefit recovery; time till unused SNAP benefits are stored off-line are reduced from 6 to 3 months and time till benefits are expunged are reduced from 12 to 6 months, or upon verification that all members of a household are deceased. Increases the percentage of recovered funds retained by States from 35% to 50% and authorizes such funds to be used for SNAP related investments in technology, improvements in administration and distribution, and actions to prevent fraud. Prohibits EBT contractors from charging fees for switching or routing EBT transactions; Allows farmers' market and direct marketing farmers to operate a point-of-sale EBT device in more than 1 location with the same Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Retailer Authorization; Requires GAO to study EBT fees, outages and intermediaries between redemption and EBT processors; Requires a USDA to review state EBT contract service agreements, compatibility of the contracted systems used with USDA fraud monitoring systems, and the use of third-party applications that access EBT systems. Directs the Secretary to issue a guidance based on findings of the GAO study and USDA review.
  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: +$256 million as EBT contractors will charge states more to recover lost revenue and these increased administration costs will be matched by federal funds and from states retaining more covered funds. Estimated 2019-2028 Impact:  +$28 million as EBT contractors will charge states more to recover lost revenue and these increased administration costs will be matched by federal funds. 
     
   Food distribution programs on Indian Reservations (H.R. 2, sec. 4005) Food Distribution program on Indian Reservations  (S. 3042, sec. 4102)
  Expands the allowable foods for the fund designed to distribute traditional and locally-grown foods to include regionally-grown food; terminates previous survey and reporting requirements regarding traditional foods; and allows appropriated funds for a fiscal year for the program to remain available for two fiscal years. Requires the Secretary to pay at least 90 percent of the administrative and distribution costs for the program; reauthorizes the Traditional and Locally-grown Food Fund through fiscal year 2023; allows appropriated funds for a fiscal year for the program to remain available for two fiscal years; establishes a demonstration project for tribal organizations to enter into a self determination contract to purchase agricultural commodities for the program.
  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: No cost change listed in CBO analysis Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: +$37 million
     
  Reauthorizations/extensions till the year 2023 (H.R. 2) Reauthorizations/extensions till the year 2023  (S. 3042)
  Sec. 4034. Retail food store and recipient trafficking NO EXTENSION
  Sec. 4101. Commodity distribution program. Sec. 4201. Commodity distribution program.
  Sec. 4102. Commodity supplemental food program. Sec. 4202 Commodity supplemental food program.
  Sec. 4103. Distribution of surplus commodities to special nutrition projects. Sec. 4203. Distribution of surplus commodities; special nutrition projects.
  Sec. 4201. Purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to schools and service institutions. Sec. 4301. Purchase of specialty crops.
  Sec. 4202. Seniors farmers' market nutrition program. Sec. 4302. Seniors farmers' market nutrition program.
  Sec. 4203. Healthy food financing initiative. (Expiration of funds changed from "until expended" to "October 1, 2023") NO CHANGE IN WORDING
  Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: Extended with no cost changes Estimated 2019-2028 Impact: Extended with no cost changes
  Additional sources: Congressional Budget Office. (2018). "Cost Estimate of H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018"; Congressional Budget Office. (2018). "Cost Estimate of S. 3042, Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018."; U.S. Senate. (2018). "Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Section-by-section"; U.S. House of Representatives.(2018)."Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 Section-by-section."