FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2004, at 6:00PM
CONTACT: Ellen Vollinger
PHONE: 202-986-2200 x3016
March 24, 2004: This evening, the House of Representatives approved, by an overwhelming bipartisan majority (419-5), its child nutrition reauthorization bill, The Child Nutrition Improvement and Integrity Act (HR 3873). This bill, which was reported out of the Education and Workforce Committee by a 42-0 vote on March 10, will expand the availability of nutritious meals to more children in school, in outside school hours programs, and in child care.
The bill makes vital improvements in the nutrition programs, such as expanding successful paperwork reduction pilots in the Summer Food Program that have already resulted in more low-income children receiving nutritious meals during the summer months; extending eligibility for snacks and meals to children in homeless and domestic violence shelters up to the age of 18; making it possible for more low-income children from military families to receive free and reduced price school meals; allowing for-profit child care centers that serve significant numbers of low-income children to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program; providing migrant children with automatic eligibility for free school meals; creating new ways to improve the nutrition environment in schools; and making the application process for school meals easier for many low-income families.
According to FRAC, the bill will provide greater access to important child nutrition programs for many low-income children. This will translate into more hungry children becoming better nourished and ready to learn. FRAC urges the Senate to follow suit as soon as possible with similar positive action on the child nutrition programs, including additional improvements, in order to ensure that our nation’s low-income children and their families can benefit from the constructive and hard-won provisions in this child nutrition bill.
FRAC is the leading national organization working for more effective public policies to eradicate domestic hunger and undernutrition.