--Pope Francis, November, 2014
One of the Domestic Legislative priorities addressed by the recent Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington DC was the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. The current law, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, will expire on September 15, 2015 and Congress will deliberate re-authorization as part of the regular 5-year review of the laws that govern nutrition programs contained in the Child Nutrition Act.
Programs affected by this reauthorization include those that address childhood hunger, help expectant and breastfeeding mothers, and promote nutrition and healthy communities. The WIC program provides nutritious food and nutrition education to low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, new mothers, and infants and children up to age 5. Free and reduced-price school lunch and breakfast programs for low-income students and the summer food service program, which provides meals during periods when school is not in session, both ensure that children in our poor communities receive the healthy food they require to learn and grow.
For more information on these programs and the populations they serve, see the Backgrounder offered by the US Bishops.
Let your voice be heard in the public debate on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act by urging your Senators and Representative to support policies that address childhood hunger, help expectant and breastfeeding mothers, and promote nutrition and healthy communities throughout the year.
Encourage Congress to:
- Improve access and flexibility for child nutrition and school-based meal programs to respond to local needs
- Invest in resources and protect from harmful cuts and changes, the hunger and nutrition programs that feed hungry children, and expectant and breastfeeding mothers, throughout the year
- Protect recent gains made in eligibility and certification so that more children get the food they need for their healthy development.