Public Act 096-1119
Public Act 1119 96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
|Public Act 096-1119|
|SB3158 Enrolled||LRB096 20480 KTG 36139 b|
AN ACT concerning hunger.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Commission to End Hunger Act.
It is the goal of the
State of Illinois that no man, woman, or child should ever be
faced with hunger.
Despite being one of the wealthiest nations and the largest
agricultural producer in the world, the United States is a
country with pervasive hunger and Illinois is not exempt from
this reality. In Illinois, hunger is less a story of starvation
and more one of hunger and access, of individuals and families
simply not having access to enough healthful, nutritious food.
The number of families facing food emergencies is growing.
Requests for emergency food assistance grew by an estimated 30
percent nationally in 2009 alone.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which
defines food security as "access by all people at all times to
enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life," also
estimates that between 2006 and 2008, 11.1 percent of Illinois
households experienced food insecurity. Nearly 1/3 of those
households were considered very food insecure. It is important
to note that the USDA numbers only reflect what was taking
place between 2006 and 2008. Since then, the economy has
significantly weakened, and there are likely many more people
struggling with hunger than what the USDA report states.
When examining hunger in the region, participation levels
in existing nutrition programs are an indicator of the level of
need in the community. However, many nutrition programs are
underutilized by the families and individuals that need them,
so while examining program participation data, it is important
to keep in mind that this likely underrepresents the true need
in the community. It is estimated that only 79 percent of
Illinoisans eligible for SNAP benefits were enrolled as of
The School Breakfast Program (School Breakfast) and the
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), two child-focused
programs, are also underutilized. Illinois currently ranks
51st amongst all states and the District of Columbia in
enrollment for free and reduced priced school breakfasts.
Illinois earned this bottom ranking because less than 33% of
eligible children (those who receive free and reduced lunch)
are also accessing School Breakfast. According to a report
released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC),
increasing School Breakfast participation in Illinois to just
60% would yield an additional $42,655,714 in federal funds and
would result in 189,668 more children receiving breakfast
everyday. Likewise, increasing the participation rate in the
SFSP to just 40% would result in Illinois receiving over $9.2
million in additional federal funds and in thousands of
children continuing to have access to breakfast or lunch, or
both, during the summer months.
Opportunities exist in several areas to eliminate barriers
preventing individuals from accessing quality, nutritious food
and achieving food security. Promoting health and wellness
through nutrition education, coordination of services, and
access to nutrition programs is one such opportunity that can
help Illinois residents achieve food security. Establishing a
statewide Commission to End Hunger will guarantee
cross-collaboration among government entities and community
partners and is essential to eliminating these barriers and
ensuring that no man, woman, or child in Illinois should ever
be faced with hunger.
Creation of the Commission to End Hunger.
(a) The General Assembly authorizes the Department of Human
Services to create the Commission to End Hunger.
(b) The purpose of the Commission to End Hunger shall be to
develop an action plan every 2 years, review the progress of
this plan, and ensure cross-collaboration among government
entities and community partners toward the goal of ending
hunger in Illinois.
(c) Key duties of the Commission shall include the
(1) Identify all funding sources which can be used
toward improving nutrition and ending hunger, for which the
State has administrative control, and develop
recommendations for future funding.
(2) Identify barriers to access and develop
sustainable policies and programs to address those
(3) Promote and facilitate public-private
(4) Develop benchmarks and set goals to indicate
(5) Report to the Governor and the General Assembly on
The Commission to End Hunger shall be
composed of no more than 21 voting members including 2 members
of the Illinois House of Representatives, one appointed by the
Speaker of the House and one appointed by the House Minority
Leader; 2 members of the Illinois Senate, one appointed by the
Senate President and one appointed by the Senate Minority
Leader; one representative of the Office of the Governor
appointed by the Governor; one representative of the Office of
the Lieutenant Governor appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;
and 15 public members, who shall be appointed by the Governor.
The public members shall include 2 representatives of food
banks; 2 representatives from other community food assistance
programs; a representative of a statewide organization focused
on responding to hunger; a representative from an anti-poverty
organization; a representative of an organization that serves
or advocates for children and youth; a representative of an
organization that serves or advocates for older adults; a
representative of an organization that advocates for people who
are homeless; a representative of an organization that serves
or advocates for persons with disabilities; a representative of
an organization that advocates for immigrants; a
representative of a municipal or county government; a
representative of a township government; and 2 at-large
members. The appointed members shall reflect the racial,
gender, and geographic diversity of the State and shall include
representation from regions of the State.
The following officials shall serve as ex-officio members:
the Secretary of Human Services or his or her designee; the
State Superintendent of Education or his or her designee; the
Director of Healthcare and Family Services or his or her
designee; the Director of Children and Family Services or his
or her designee; the Director of Aging or his or her designee;
and the Director of Agriculture or his or her designee. The
African-American Family Commission and the Latino Family
Commission shall each designate a liaison to serve ex-officio
on the Commission.
Members shall serve without compensation and are
responsible for the cost of all reasonable and necessary travel
expenses connected to Commission business, as the State of
Illinois will not reimburse Commission members for these costs.
Commission members shall be appointed within 60 days after
the effective date of this Act. The Commission shall hold their
initial meetings within 60 days after at least 50% of the
members have been appointed.
The representative of the Office of the Governor and a
representative of a food bank shall serve as co-chairs of the
At the first meeting of the Commission, the members shall
select a 5-person Steering Committee that includes the
The Commission may establish committees that address
specific issues or populations and may appoint individuals with
relevant expertise who are not appointed members of the
Commission to serve on committees as needed.
The Office of the Governor, or a designee of the Governor's
choosing, shall provide guidance to the Commission. Under the
leadership of the Office of the Governor, subject to
appropriation, the Department of Human Services shall also
provide leadership to support the Commission. The Department of
Human Services and the State of Illinois shall not incur any
costs as a result of the creation of the Commission to End
Hunger as the coordination of meetings, report preparation, and
other related duties will be completed by a representative of a
food bank that is serving as a co-chair of the Commission.
Meetings and reports.
The full Commission shall
meet at least twice annually. The Steering Committee shall meet
at least quarterly.
The Commission shall issue an interim report on its
activities and recommendations to the constitutional officers
and to the General Assembly no later than 12 months from the
date of the first Commission meeting.
A work plan shall be adopted by the Commission not later
than 12 months from the date of the first Commission meeting
and sent to the constitutional officers and to the General
Assembly. Following the adoption of the initial work plan, the
Commission shall continue to meet and issue annual reports
regarding progress on the goal of ending hunger in Illinois and
on the implementation of the work plan.
This Act takes effect upon
Effective Date: 7/20/2010