“This is an important opportunity to permanently strengthen and modernize the child nutrition programs to make sure children facing hunger have access to three nutritious meals a day 365 days a year,’ says Davis.
Contact: Meredith Jorss, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, the House Education and Labor Committee introduced the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, a Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill that would increase access to nutritious school and summer meals. The following is a statement from Share Our Strength Senior Vice President Lisa Davis:
“This is an important opportunity to permanently strengthen and modernize the child nutrition programs that help feed kids whose families are facing hardship and Share Our Strength supports this legislation.
“It’s been more than a decade since these programs were last updated and a lot has changed in that time. This bill proposes several critical improvements, including expanding access to summer meals and establishing a permanent, nationwide Summer EBT program, increasing access to no-cost school meals by expanding community eligibility, and modernizing and streaming access to the WIC program.
“While we support this bill, we are disappointed that it does not contain one critical provision that would be a game-changer for kids facing hunger and the school and community programs that help feed them during the summer. We urge Congress to rectify this and revise the bill to include policies that allow summer meals to be served in non-congregate settings.
“Summer is one of the hungriest times of the year for kids who rely on free and reduced-price school meals and the summer meals program has historically reached only 1 in 7 eligible children. Making updates to the rules around how these meals are served would help close this gap and get food to the kids who need it the most. Allowing communities flexibility to serve summer meals to kids through models such as grab-n-go and home delivered meals has a proven track record. During the pandemic, summer meal providers were able to reach more children with summer meals than any time in the program’s history by utilizing these models. In 2020, the number of summer meals served was nearly triple the number served in 2019. And even once communities began re-opening in 2021, the number of summer meals served in 2021 was still double the number served in 2019.
“It's time to make this flexibility a permanent part of the summer meals program.
“Share Our Strength looks forward to working with Congress on a final bill that includes non-congregate summer meals and, ultimately, strengthens the programs that feed our nation’s kids.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 6 kids could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.