CHN: Congress Passes Critical Child Nutrition Provisions
On June 25, President Biden signed into law the Keep Kids Fed Act (S. 2089), extending some pandemic school meal waivers just days before they were set to expire on June 30. According to the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the law, passed by Congress on June 24, increases reimbursements to schools and child care centers, supports access to summer meals, and streamlines access to healthy meals for children in family child care. It will also help shield some of the impacts of inflation, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages.
In a statement, FRAC called the law “a critical first step to help avert a summer hunger crisis, support access to child care meals, and provide additional funding and flexibility needed for school nutrition operations.” However, FRAC also noted the provisions do not provide much-needed access to free school meals for millions of school-aged children who will lose access if schools are unable to offer meals to all their students at no charge in the upcoming school year. Advocates are calling on Congress to make additional investments in child nutrition programs through the upcoming budget reconciliation to prevent child hunger and support children’s access to free school meals.