CAFB Applauds Introduction of Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act of 2022
July 22, 2022
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Labor and EducationChairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) released the much anticipated Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act. We are excited to see many provisions that would expand access to free school meals, nationwide Summer EBT, improvements to summer meals and modernizing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). These key investments would benefit California and have been long sought by the California Association of Food Banks and the broader anti-hunger community.
Hunger among California households with children remains unacceptable, with 25% of children in California actively without enough food to eat, the worst form of hunger. By adopting these proposals, Congress can affirm that the status quo of food insecurity prior to the pandemic is unacceptable, and move the needle toward a hunger-free future for our children.
Many of the investments proposed in this bill have been championed by Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Lofgren, Rep. DeSaulnier, and Rep. Levin, and we are grateful for their leadership prioritizing the needs of children and families.
The investments proposed in the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act will bolster California’s first-in-the-nation adoption of healthy school meals for all, enabling significant reinvestment into meal quality, kitchen workforce, and other school nutrition program needs. It will also establish nationwide Summer EBT, a long-time California priority. EBT aid when school meals aren’t available has proven more important than ever through the Pandemic EBT program — a lifeline for immigrant families and those excluded from other aid — and underscored by our Congressional Hunger Center report by Rocio Perez who surveyed nearly 1,500 Latinx, Asian-American, and other California families who received P-EBT.
We call on all California Members of the House Education and Labor Committee to support the bill, and urge the House and Senate to quickly pass the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act into law.
Summary of Child Nutrition proposals in the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act:
It also includes expanding and improving the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACP), improvements to nutrition education efforts and much more.
We call on Congress to pass the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act and support these critical investments to prevent child hunger. No child should go hungry – now is the time to act and increase food security for all children.