Bi-Partisan Effort to Strengthen Child Nutrition Programs Needs Your Voice.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"775","attributes":{"class":"media-image aligncenter size-full wp-image-11138","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"500","alt":"elbuen6"}}]]Last  week, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Lisa Murkoswki (R-AK) introduced the Summer Meals Act (S.2527) to strengthen child nutrition programs. The impact of this legislation, if passed, can be tremendous in our work to end childhood hunger. It’ll mean more resources, more time and more effective ways for us to fulfill our mission.

We’re going to tell our legislators how excited we are. Will you share our excitement with them too?

Contact Senator John Cornyn using the online contact form or call his office in DC or district offices.

Contact Senator Ted Cruz using the online contact form or call his office in DC or district offices.

Here are the top four ways this bill makes life better for Central Texas children and families:

  1. Central Texas has a unique poverty problem. Our poverty is sprawling and in the suburbs and not concentrated in the urban core or rural communities. In this bill, if 40 percent of children in an area are eligible for free-reduced price lunch, then the entire community can benefit from the summer meals programs. By lowering the threshold for participation, it allows us to reach families that have relocated to the outskirts of town where there are often less support services.

  2. One of the biggest challenges we have in recruiting sites and expanding our participation in federal programs is the paperwork. This takes time and resources to manage. We also know that hunger doesn’t take a weekend break or holiday. Still, it’s difficult to reach children on weekends and over school holidays when they need us most. This bill allows us to submit one set of paperwork to feed children year round. This major improvement will not only expand our capacity by enabling us to use federal funds, but our partners and we can spend more of our time and resources nourishing children instead of pushing paper.

  3. Mobile meals trucks are popping up all over the country, and they’ve proven to be an effective method to reach children without access to transportation. Now, the government is ready to invest with transportation grants to get more meals to children in need. With 19,000 square miles to cover, an area about twice the size of Massachusetts, we can use their support to reach every child in need.

  4. When parents need to be at work for at least eight hours a day, their children will often eat breakfast, lunch and after-school snack, maybe even dinner away from the home and in childcare. This bill will expand the number of meals covered to support three meals. Childcare sites won’t have to make the difficult decision of reducing the quality of childcare or raising the price in order to pay for needed meals.

It’s not every day that legislators from different parties are willing to agree on legislation, but when it comes to keeping our kids healthy and well fed, they’re coming to the table. So far, more than 40 organizations have signed on to show their support. For more information, read the bill here.

We have a serious child hunger problem in Central Texas: one in for children in our area is at risk of hunger. Your call or email to our congressional leaders will go a long way in getting this important piece of legislation passed.

Thank you for your advocacy and for standing up for the children in your community.