During the school year, low-income children receive free lunches from the federal government. However, when summer comes and schools are closed, these same children often miss out on that daily meal. There are a lack of feeding sites to make up for the school cafeterias being closed.
Senator Brown says, “Summer break shouldn’t mean a break from good nutrition. Summer meal programs provide the nutrition assistance for children that they would normally receive in school, ensuring their healthy development and easing the burden on their families.” The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act, if given enough support, could be passed in the Child Nutrition legislation in the coming weeks.
According to Feeding America, 82% of children who receive the school lunches during the year do not get them during the summer. The summer months become a time when hunger escalates among children. The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act aims to stop this.
One remedy the bill has put forward is providing needy families an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card during the summer months. This would provide 30 dollars a month per child so the family can purchase extra food to make up for the lost school lunches. This would help children who cannot get to summer feeding sites.
While there are efforts to increase the number of summer feeding sites, they cannot possibly make up the difference. According to Feeding America, there are 9 million low-income children who live in areas that are ineligible to have summer feeding sites. So clearly an EBT card would be vital to them.
Feeding America is calling on its supporters to contact their representatives in support of the bill. So far there has been bipartisan support. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) have joined Brown in support of the Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act. An advocacy page has been set up by Feeding America.
Read the full article at Examiner.