In 2010, Congress authorized, and President Obama signed The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. It makes available school and preschool healthy lunch programs, and enables other nutrition programs for low-income children. Some of the things the Act did and/or still does:
- Expanded the After School Meal Program to all 50 states;
- Established “Community Eligibility,” which allows schools with high percentages of low-income students to feed all children at no charge;
- Supports Summer Food expansion by allowing nonprofit organizations to serve more than 25 sites (with no cap on the number of children at each site), and by requiring schools to help with Summer Food outreach;
- Allows state WIC agencies the option to certify children for up to one year, rather than six months;
- Mandates WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) implementation nationwide by October 1, 2020;
- Makes it easier for parents to enroll in the child care food programs by reducing paperwork, leading to more children having healthy food in child care;
- Improves area eligibility rules so more family child care homes can use the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP); and
- Enhances the nutritional quality of food served in school-based and preschool settings by developing new nutrition standards, making “competitive foods” offered or sold in schools more nutritious, and strengthening wellness policies.
This summer, Congress should vote on reauthorization of this act (Child Nutrition Reauthorization), that works to keep every American child healthy and hungry free. Want to help? Join anti-hunger advocates and call your congressional representative. Let them know that our children are counting on them to act.
Who to call, and how?
- Dial 888-398-8702
- Make sure to connect to your House member first, and then call back to speak with your Senators.
- Here’s a message suggested by Feeding America that you can give:
“On September 30, the child nutrition bill will expire, and it’s time Congress got to work. As your constituent, I ask you to pass a strong child nutrition bill that invests in and improves child nutrition programs so that our nation’s kids have the fuel they need to grow up healthy and succeed.”
Help show our representatives that America wants to end child hunger once and for all.