Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016

Bread for the World is beginning to promote the 2016 Offering of Letters,  "Survive and Thrive," which will address maternal and child nutrition at the global level. The Bread website has more information, and we will address the topic in future blog posts. And mark your calendar for the Offering of Letters workshop in Albuquerque on Saturday, March 12.

Work Continues on Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Our advocacy work continues on the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which was the topic of our 2015 Offering of Letters.  Our letters urged the House and Senate to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 before its expiration date of September 30, 2015. The deadline passed and Congress did not reauthorize this important initiative, which takes several steps forward to ensure that low-income children can participate in child nutrition programs and receive the meals.

The lack of reauthorization did not mean that the important programs went away. "We've been assured that child nutrition programs willcontinue to serve the nutritional needs of children beyond their expiration," said the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

Here's why reauthorization is important...

"Congress has a unique opportunity to close the hunger gap and improve national nutrition programs...," said FRAC.

"Feeding America is leading the effort to pass a stronger Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) 2016 in Congress," said the organization.

An Initiative from the Senate Agriculture Committee
Because of strong advocacy efforts from supporters of FRAC, Feeding America, Bread for the World and other anti-hunger advocates, there is movement in the Senate... On January 20, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed Child Nutrition Reauthorization “The Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016” otherwise known as the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR).This strengthened CNR will work to feed millions of children during the summer months and streamline current child feeding programs.

Here's what FRAC says:We are pleased to see that the bill takes a number of steps in the right direction to make good programs even better. Yet, the bill also reveals that our work is not finished. In particular, a new verification framework featured in the bill could threaten to increase the number of eligible low-income children who could lose access to healthy school meals.  Read FRAC's full statement

What about the House?  The movement is not as advanced in the House, but we expect that matter will come up soon, possibly in the House Agriculture Committee (where Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham serves).

Take Action
So what can you do?  Advocacy Organizations have provided an opportunity to contact our Senators (Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich or your own Senator) and House member (Michelle Lujan Grisham, Ben Ray Lujan, Steve Pearce or your own House member).  Send your legislators a note via these links: Feeding America  and  Bread for the WorldThis FRAC site has good background for you to write a note to Congress.  Stay tuned for updates

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