Join Senator Casey in the Fight to Strengthen Child Nutrition Programs

Posted by Philabundance Digital Media on June 9th, 2016

Senator Bob Casey at Fare and Square 2016

On Monday, Senator Bob Casey took a tour of Fare & Square, Philabundance’s non-profit grocery store in Chester, PA. He also met with staff and customers as well as partners from the Chester County Food Bank and Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger to discuss the importance of federal nutrition programs that help families “get from point A to point B.”

Programs such as SNAP, WIC and school meals are vital to families and give kids a better chance to thrive, no matter what circumstances they were born into. But right now, some of these important programs are seriously threatened as legislators work on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill (CNR). If CNR passes as is, it will take away school meals from countless kids who need them.

Two Harmful Changes Threaten Kids’ School Meals
The Community Eligibility Provision—which allows schools in high poverty areas to provide free meals to all students, reducing time-consuming paperwork and the stigma around free meals—is in jeopardy.

The current house CNR will make it HARDER for schools to qualify for this provision, increasing paperwork and decreasing access to meals for kids. In Pennsylvania, more than 100,000 kids will potentially lose their free school meals because of this change.

The current house CNR also allows three slots for “block-granting,” meaning some states may receive a lump sum of money (an amount very unlikely to change over time) for school meals, rather than an amount based on the number of kids in need. This means when food prices increase (as they always do), fewer meals will be provided to children. Plus, these states would no longer be required to meet consistent nutrition standards, so the health value of their meals will likely go down.

Kids with Vegetables

Research shows when children have proper nutrition they are healthier, perform better in school and are better off when they enter the workforce. With 20% of Pennsylvania’s children facing food insecurity and worrying about where their next meal comes from, what will our future look like if this continues?

Join a National Call To Action, Make This Bill Less Likely to Pass
It’s not too late to stop this bill! Today, in less than two minutes, you can join us and others from all across the country in making a powerful, strong statement, all on the same day:

  • Give a quick phone call to your local representative:
    • Dial this toll free number and listen to the pre-recorded message: 888-398-8702
    • Enter your zip code. Once you are connected to your Member of Congress, let them know you live in their district and give your name and city
    • Let the office know you are calling about Child Nutrition Reauthorization and you oppose block-granting child nutrition programs. Urge the representative to stand up for children and make sure they have the nutrition they need to learn and thrive. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the facts—they won’t question you—just let them know you care about this important issue!
  • If you represent an organization or business, sign onto this letter opposing block-granting.
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