Every five years Congress needs to pass a reauthorization bill to continue funding programs that benefit America's hungry children, like the summer food service program, the supplemental assistance program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the afterschool snacks program, as well as changes to school lunch and school breakfast. In August, the Senate passed their version of the child nutrition bill, called the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act but the House of Representatives has yet to vote on this important piece of legislation. The House can pass the Senate's version of the child nutrition bill and it can go directly to the President for signature and become law. If that happens, it will be the largest single investment in child nutrition programs in the history of these programs!
Moreover, the bill is fiscally responsible and will not add to the federal deficit because the costs have been offset with cuts to existing program. Although these offsets include significant cuts to the temporary increase in SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps), the White House has pledge to find a way to restore that money through alternative legislation.
Among many important changes, the bill will help get more kids get summer and afterschool meals, improves nutrition standards for all foods sold in school, invests in efforts to streamline the registration process for eligible children to cut down on paperwork, and helps states compete for grants to implement public-private partnerships dedicated to ending childhood hunger.
There's still time left for this Congress to do the right thing for our nation's children. Help keep the child nutrition bill on the agenda. Sign the petition to tell your leaders to pass this bill before Thanksgiving!
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