Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, August 15, 2022 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is deeply disappointed that critical child nutrition provisions were not included in the Inflation Reduction Act. These provisions include extending the U.S. Department of Agriculture waiver authority to allow schools to offer meals to all students at no charge through the 2022–2023 school year, expanding community eligibility to allow more schools to offer meals to all students at no charge beyond this school year, and creating a nationwide Summer EBT Program to provide nutrition resources to families during the summer when childhood hunger spikes.
While the legislation overall serves as a historic win for households, such as lowering prescription drug costs for seniors with low incomes and people with disabilities, it fails to prioritize ensuring that millions of children have access to the nutrition they need to support their health and learning, especially with so many families still facing the ongoing challenges due to the health and economic fallout of the pandemic.
Hunger has increased for households with children during the last two years, with a disproportionate impact on Black, Latinx, and Native American households. A record number of people in America do not have enough to eat, and it is likely that the economic recovery for families who struggle to put food on the table will take years.
Congressional action is still needed to keep our nation’s children fed.
The Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act provides an opportunity to increase access to school meals, summer meals, and child care meals like never before. The critical provisions within this bill will help end childhood hunger, support health and learning, and support academic achievement. FRAC enthusiastically supports this plan and urges the House to quickly pass this bill, and for the Senate to quickly take it up.
Hungry children can’t wait.
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.