Child Nutrition Forum National Organization Sign-On Letter
The Child Nutrition Forum is distributing a national organization sign on letter to garner support for a “robustly-funded” child nutrition reauthorization bill that addresses the three principles that were agreed upon over a year ago. These principles (restated in the letter) have been echoed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) in testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Nov. 17.
The heart of the letter is a push for funding and calls for at least the President’s $1 billion per year in additional funding for child nutrition reauthorization. The deadline for organizational signatures (national organizations only) is Friday, December 18, close of business.
If you have any questions, contact Etienne Melcher at FRAC, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/986-2200, x3012.
Letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Miller and Chairman Lincoln
Re: Child Nutrition Reauthorization Funding and Program Priorities
The child nutrition programs – school lunch and breakfast, child care and WIC, summer feeding and afterschool snacks and meals – are facing a two part challenge: rising rates of hunger and obesity. The programs are not reaching all those children who are eligible. In addition, while the nutritional quality of the programs has improved significantly since Congress required that they follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is increasingly difficult for providers to meet these guidelines without additional resources.
A well-conceived, robustly-funded reauthorization bill can reduce hunger and food insecurity in America, help reduce childhood overweight and obesity, improve child nutrition and health, and enhance child development and school readiness. To that end we urge Congress and the Administration to enact a reauthorization bill that:
-assures and strengthens program access and supports participation by underserved children and communities;
-enhances nutrition quality and provides adequate meal reimbursements; and
-modernizes technology and simplifies program administration and operation.
The President, as you know, has proposed an additional $1 billion per year for child nutrition reauthorization to start down the path of eliminating childhood hunger by the year 2015. Given the recent USDA report showing that one in every four children live in households struggling against hunger, the child nutrition programs will need at least that amount of funding, if not a significantly higher investment, to respond to the current crisis. The recent Institute of Medicine recommendations for school meals also demonstrate the need for additional resources for improving the nutritional quality of school meals.
The successful, cost-effective child nutrition programs play a critical role in helping children--especially those in low-income families--achieve access to quality nutrition, child care, and educational enrichment activities while improving their overall health, development, and school achievement.
Despite the extraordinary challenges facing our nation, investing in our children must remain a top priority. The child nutrition programs must receive the critical funding needed to support and improve the nutritional health and well-being of our children.
We appreciate your leadership and support on behalf of our nation’s children.