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Federal Action Alert: Call today in support of Child Nutrition Reauthorization

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Federal Action Alert: Call today in support of Child Nutrition Reauthorization

December 04, 2015
By
Sherry Tomasky

We are at a critical juncture regarding the future of these programs in New York and across the country. 

Congress is in what could be the final phase of negotiations on the reauthorization of child nutrition programs, like the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Program, Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This opportunity comes only once every 5 years.  We believe that unless we collectively advocate for the strongest possible reauthorization bill, the final legislation may not serve the children of New York any better than it does now, and worse, may even limit the programs further.

Senator Gillibrand is a champion for child nutrition in New York, and Senator Schumer has indicated his clear support.  But they need to hear from constituents today so that they can lead a stronger effort for what New York needs in the child nutrition reauthorization bill.  Call Senator Charles Schumer at (202) 224-6542) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at (202) 224-4451today and ask that they fight for these priorities:

1.  First and foremost, do no harm.  This bill should achieve its goals without paying for changes through cuts to any part of the child nutrition, nutrition support, or other programs that support low-income people and families. Reducing eligibility or restricting access is not acceptable.  

2.  Allow local government and private nonprofit organizations to seamlessly feed children year-round – both during the summer and after school – through the Summer Food Service Program, rather than require switching between two programs.  This is especially important in a state like New York where two different state agencies administer SFSP and CACFP.

3.  Ensure that efforts to provide low-income children access to additional nutritional resources through a "Summer EBT" card is accomplished by utilizing the broader SNAP network of vendors instead of the network of WIC vendors, which is far less prevalent in the rural and suburban areas of upstate New York.  The SNAP vendor network is five times as large as the WIC vendor network in this state.  Plus, there is already an effective SNAP EBT infrastructure in place (not so for WIC) which will allow immediate access to much needed summer nutrition in areas where traditional summer meals are not viable.

4.  Allow child care centers and homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program the option of a third healthy meal or snack for children in care for a full day.  

5.  Any bill should protect school nutrition standards' much-needed improvements, which are successfully operating in 97 percent of school districts across the country.  

For background on the legislation supporting these priorities, including bill summaries, endorsements, and legislative language, visit FRAC’s Bills We’re Watching page.

Please take a few minutes to make your call today.  These negotiations could wrap up at any time, and we cannot afford to lose out on these important provisions. Thank you for your time and dedication. We are grateful for your efforts to fight hunger for young children and teens in your communities and beyond.

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