Child Nutrition Reauthorization has to be done right
The Child Nutrition Programs are due for reauthorization, with opportunities to reduce summer hunger among children already eligible for free and reduced meals during the school year. NSLA strongly supports the Summer Meals Act of 2019 (S. 1908/H.R. 2818) which ensures children access nutritious meals in a safe setting, with opportunities for learning and enrichment at the same time. This bill strengthens the existing Summer Nutrition Programs, which require food to be served at a site, such as at a school, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, park, community center, or religious institution. Over 90 percent of these sites provide programming or enrichment activities in addition to meals. The programs operate in rural, suburban and urban communities, and the improvements proposed in the Summer Meals Act would expand the number of children receiving summer meals at sites and improve program operations.
The Summer Meals Act:
In contrast, other pending legislation gives states the option to provide nutritional resources through a Summer EBT card, and the option to allow meals to be sent home with children or delivered to their homes instead of consumed at a summer food site. While appropriate for some very rural places or instances where families are unable to access congregate feeding sites, there are concerns that this legislation would create a disincentive to programs seeking to expand summer learning sites to rural areas, and could make it difficult for summer learning programs to continue to procure meals from food banks.
You can make a difference: call on Congress to support summer meals by passing the Summer Meals Act.