Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, October 26, 2021 — The health and well-being of our nation’s children should always be a top priority. That is why Congress must be held accountable in passing the Build Back Better Act that includes critical nutrition provisions that support children’s health and learning. By acting today, Congress can help reduce childhood hunger and improve nutrition, while boosting academic achievement.
The Build Back Better Act provides the opportunity to ensure 9 million more low-income children receive healthy school meals at no charge and 29 more children receive the nutrition they desperately need during the summer months when schools are closed. These critical investments will ensure children have access to the nutrition they need year-round and help overcome the educational, health, and economic impacts of the pandemic.
These historic child nutrition provisions take important steps to increase access to and improve the nutrition of school meals, particularly for children of color and close the summer meal gap. This will put our nation firmly on the pathway to ending hunger and increasing racial equity.
Studies show school meals can help reduce child hunger and improve students’ health, academic achievement; attendance, and behavior – all of which are needed for children to succeed and build the skills they need to contribute to our nation’s workforce.
COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact families with children, particularly households of color. By investing in these programs, we will help sustain these communities as they continue to recover from the health and economic fallout of the pandemic.
Combined with the anti-poverty and human infrastructure investments in the Build Back Better Act, these provisions will help ensure that millions of more children will have the nutrition they need to learn, grow, and thrive 365 days a year while also lifting them out of poverty.
The return on these investments will have multiple positive impacts for years to come. Join us in urging Congress and the White House to put our children first in the Build Back Better Act.
The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.