DOMESTIC CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS ARE UP FOR RENEWAL
The House and Senate are both considering legislation that would impact child nutrition programs. In January, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016. This legislation includes a number of good first steps to connect children at risk of hunger with healthy meals and contains many of the provisions WHEAT and our Anti-Hunger Partners supported last year. For example, the bill proposes to:
- streamline summer and after-school meal programs
- allow some states to provide summer EBT (electronic benefits transfer) for a limited number of children
- allow some states to provide alternative summer meal delivery under particular circumstances
In May, the House Education and Workforce Committee passed the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016. As written, the bill would make it harder for children to access free school meals. It includes a proposal to fund school meal programs through block grants to the states. This would effectively cap and cut funding for school breakfast and lunch programs.. It also fails to address the summer hunger gap.
As the Child Nutrition ReAuthorization process moves forward, we must continue to urge Congress to pass a bipartisan bill that improves and strengthens child nutrition programs.
Call or Write your State Representative and urge him/her to oppose H.R. 5003, the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, as written. Remind them that the bill would make it harder for children to access free school meals. It proposes block granting school meal programs, effectively capping and cutting funding for school breakfast and lunch programs. It also fails to adequately address the summer hunger gap.
PROTECTING ANTI-HUNGER PROGRAMS FROM HARMFUL CUTS
In Congress, political forces are pushing to slash poverty-focused programs. The tight fiscal environment means members of Congress are looking to make cuts wherever they can. Foreign assistance, SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), and other programs that help people struggling with hunger are at serious risk. They don’t have high-powered lobbyists and well-funded campaigns looking out for their interests. Your voice is critical!
Thanks to our Partner, Bread for the World, for this important information.