Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Congress Must Pass the Child Nutrition Bill

Lauren Tonetti, our California Organizing Intern, submitted a letter to the editor of the LA Times. While the letter was not published, Lauren makes an excellent case for why Congress needs to act now on the child nutrition bill.  

The article reporting on USDA hunger statistics does a good job highlighting that hunger is a reality and issue in America. At the end of the article P.J. Huffstutter mentions that Congress it taking on these issues but does not explain the reality of the matter. The Child Nutrition Act is essential to reducing hunger in America.  We need to make sure that every hungry child gets the food he or she needs to succeed in school and life. Without proper funding millions of children will go without access to food. 

The Child Nutrition Act is about more than feeding hungry children. It is about making a commitment to those who are suffering. There are hungry people in America; the USDA study shows this. 19.5 million children already benefit from feeding programs. But there are so many more children who went hungry because those same programs lack proper funding.  The Child Nutrition Act would remedy this. It is imperative that we feed these children and ensure that they have access to a bright future. 

Yet this success will come at a cost. Unfortunately, the senate version of the Child Nutrition bill contained cuts to future SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—formerly food stamps) to pay for the improvements in these programs. Nearly 80 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with children. We are basically taking food from kids at home to feed them at school. The Child Nutrition Act needs to pass now, in a Congress that supports it but it comes at a great cost. America is one of the richest countries in the world; what does it say that we may be able to feed children at school but perhaps not at home? The disappointing reality is that hungry kids can’t wait any longer for improvements to breakfast, after school, and summer meal programs. Members of the House of Representatives must act before the end of the Lame Duck session.

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