FRAC Statement on House Passage of Child Nutrition Bill

Statement attributable to FRAC President Jim Weill

Washington, D.C. – December 2, 2010 – FRAC applauds today’s House passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S. 3307), accompanied by the commitment of the President and Congressional leaders to fix the SNAP cut included in that Act.

The commitments to fix this cut will ensure that America’s children not only benefit from improvements in the child nutrition bill, but also that more than 40 million of America’s poorest people continue to receive critically important SNAP benefits. FRAC will be pressing immediately to fix the SNAP cut.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has many important and excellent provisions, including a number FRAC has been working toward for a long time. These include:

  • Expanding the Afterschool Meal Program to all 50 states;
  • Supporting improvements to direct certification for school meals and other strategies to reduce red tape in helping children obtain school meals;
  • Allowing state WIC agencies the option to certify children for up to one year;
  • Mandating WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) implementation nationwide by October 1, 2020;
  • Improving area eligibility rules so more family child care homes can use the CACFP program;
  • Enhancing the nutritional quality of food served in school-based and preschool settings; and
    Making “competitive foods” offered or sold in schools more nutritious.
  • While additional important improvements to expand low-income children’s access to the child nutrition programs that the House Committee included in its bipartisan bill did not make it into the final bill, FRAC is pleased that the Administration has committed to addressing these gaps to the full extent that it can through administrative action.

    We look forward to working with the Administration, states, cities, school districts and non-profit sponsors, labor, business and advocates for the fastest and most robust implementation possible of both the bill’s provisions and the Administration’s additional efforts.

    FRAC has maintained that passage of a good child nutrition bill and restoration of the SNAP cuts are both essential and that both can be achieved in the lame duck session. With the first goal accomplished, we look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to achieve swiftly the second of these two goals so that the nation can advance in the fight to end hunger and reduce obesity in the U.S.

    We deeply appreciate the work of the many members of Congress and the Administration and the many anti-poverty, anti-hunger, nutrition, child care, education, labor and other groups around the country which have fought for two years to produce the strongest possible child nutrition bill and one that doesn’t cut the SNAP program. Their efforts have been heroic.