House Education & Labor Committee Markup Proposes Major Investments to Fight Child Hunger
September 8, 2021
Tomorrow, the House Education & Labor Committee will mark up its portion of the Build Back Better Act. The Committee includes more than $35 billion in funding for the Child Nutrition Programs, including key investments that would benefit California and have been long sought by the California Association of Food Banks and broader the anti-hunger community.
Despite interventions, hunger among California households with children remains unacceptable, with nearly 700,000 California children actively without enough food, 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 Build Back Better Act will bolster California’s first in the nation adoption of healthy school meals for all, enabling significant reinvestment into meal quality, 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. (A summary of the provisions is below.)
These proposals work to ensure critical food access and support a more equitable recovery. It’s paramount that we learn the lessons of the Great Recession and not cut aid prematurely, but make long-term improvements to the food safety net needed to prevent a resurgence in hunger.
We call on all California Members of the House Education & Labor Committee to support the bill, and urge the House and Senate to quickly pass the Build Back Better Act into law.
Summary of Child Nutrition proposals in the Build Back Better Act: