Child Nutrition Reauthorization
In a nation of great wealth and resources, no child should ever go hungry. However, 15.8 million children in the United States live in households that struggle with hunger. For too many children, a meal served at school is the only food that can be counted on each day. Lack of access to nutritious food sets children apart at an early age, resulting in issues like lower test scores, decreased attention in the classroom, or sickness. Childhood hunger also has life-long negative impacts on a child’s development and growth stretching all the way into adulthood. Access to consistent and nutritious meals gives children the fundamental and necessary elements needed to grow, learn, love and play.
This year, Congress has the opportunity to improve access to quality, nutritious meals for millions of children—many of whom live in rural or marginalized communities. A series of national nutrition programs helps combat childhood hunger by supporting healthy meals and snacks for children of all ages, both in and out of school. Congress must regularly renew funding for these programs in order to ensure that our nation’s children have adequate access to nutritious food where they live, play and learn.
Successful and cost-effective federal programs play a critical role in helping children in nearly every school program and community across the United States. These programs include: the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provide nutritious foods, education and access to health care for millions of low-income new mothers and infants; the National School Lunch Program; and the Summer Food Service Program, both of which guarantee that millions of low-income children have access to healthy food throughout the year.
We urge members of Congress to renew and strengthen our nation’s child nutrition programs by:
- Increasing funding to these programs, which will ensure access to underserved and low-income children;
- Securing advances made in child nutrition over the last several decades by maintaining a reliance on science-based standards and recommendations as they relate to fruit, vegetables, and healthy grains;
- Investing in and expanding access to child nutrition programs in rural and Native American communities;
- Funding WIC at $6.684 billion to adequately serve anticipated caseloads; and
- Addressing the rising cost of nutritious food due to unstable climate conditions.
Download ELCA Background Paper: Combating Childhood Hunger
TAKE ACTION online through ELCA Advocacy.
Download and fill out a child nutrition postcard (Return to the ELCA Washington Office to be hand delivered to your legislator’s office. Instructions are on the card.