Feeding America and its network of more than 200 food banks across the country applaud today's approval of a Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill by the House Committee on Education and Labor. This bill would be a significant step forward in achieving an end to childhood hunger by 2015. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 1 in 4 children across the country is at risk of hunger.
"This bill represents a very important and positive step forward in the fight to end child hunger," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO, Feeding America."The bill reported by the Committee has the potential to significantly increase access to nutritious food for low-income children, particularly during out-of-school times."
The Feeding America network has been working to reduce child hunger by better connecting eligible children to after-school programs.
"We are excited and energized by today's approval this critical legislation. Too many hungry children are not being reached by our current child nutrition programs. The Committee's action will undoubtedly advance our capability to meet the increased needs of those facing hunger with focused improvements in access and nutrition."
The legislation includes the Weekends Without Hunger Act, championed by Feeding America to support local efforts to provide children with nutritious food during weekends and long school vacations.
"Closing gap periods is essential to making progress against child hunger, and the Weekends Without Hunger Act is an important component of a strong reauthorization."
Feeding America recently released a report on the prevalence of child hunger at the state level. Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2006-2008 shows that almost every state experienced an increase in child hunger in 2008, underscoring the importance of completing a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill this summer.
Escarra commended the leadership of Chairman George Miller (CA-7) in working with his colleagues to craft a strong bill and urged the House of Representatives to quickly fund and approve the bill."Our nation and our children cannot afford to wait any longer to see this bill completed. Both the House and Senate must quickly enact this legislation so that our children have the nutritious food they need to learn and grow up to lead healthy and productive lives."
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