Feeding America Statement on Introduction of Bipartisan Bills to Help Strengthen Access to Meals for Children in the Summer

Statement attributed to Vince Hall, Interim Chief Government Relations Officer

June 10, 2021

Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the U.S., strongly supports the recent introduction of these bipartisan bills to ensure no child has to worry about where their next meal will come when school is out:

  • Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2021 from Senators Boozman (R-AR) and Leahy (D-VT)
  • Stop Child Hunger Act of 2021 from Senator Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Levin (D-CA) and Hayes (D-CT)
  • Summer Meals Act of 2021 from Senators Gillibrand (D-NY) and Murkowski (R-AK) and Representatives Young (R-AK) and Larsen (D-WA)

Congress has a critical opportunity to ensure the summer months aren’t hungry months by passing legislation that will provide more children with more food, particularly during the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization process. Specifically, our decision-makers must strengthen access to summer meals sites, remove red tape that makes it difficult for summer meal providers to serve food, provide a summer EBT grocery card to families with children, and allow flexibilities that will make it easier for kids to access summer meals no matter where they live.

Summer meal providers, such as food banks, must switch between government programs to provide meals during the school year versus when school is out, forcing providers to focus more on burdensome administrative processes than serving meals. These and other rigid program rules have limited the number of summer meal providers available in communities and the strategies providers can use to connect kids with food, leaving too many children in hard-to-reach areas with empty tummies. Our lawmakers must take urgent action to ensure the equitable, efficient delivery of summer meals to our children.

Feeding America estimates that 13 million kids may face food insecurity in 2021 due to the pandemic, making ending child summer hunger more necessary than ever. We look forward to working with our lawmakers, especially the Senate Agriculture Committee and House Education and Labor Committee, to move policies forward that will help keep kids nourished.

 


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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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