STRENGTHEN THE SUMMER MEALS PROGRAM
The Summer Meals Program helps 3.2 million children get connected with healthy meals all summer long. Despite this incredible effort, there were still kids who the program didn’t reach. Fortunately, there is legislation in Congress right now to strengthen this critical program.
The Summer Meals Act of 2017 will expand where the program can operate, which will allow more kids to access food during the summer months, and increase the number of meals any given site can serve each day from two to three. The bill will also enable these temporary Summer Meals Sites” and institutions to serve meals on holidays, weekends and after-school hours throughout the year if they choose. Some kids have limited transportation and ability to reach Summer Meals locations – this bill will give grants to innovative solutions such as mobile meal trucks.
But we need your help.
The Summer Meals Act of 2017 is currently stuck in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The support of your Representative could help move it along, and they may even sit on the committee making that decision. Calling your Representative sends a powerful message of support. If you aren’t sure who your Representative is, enter your zip code here. Once you have their name, you can find their phone number here. We’ve even provided a sample script for you to use, but feel free to get creative:
“Hello, I’m [NAME], a constituent from [HOMETOWN], and I’m calling today to urge Representative [YOUR CONGRESSPERSON] to publicly support HR 203, the Summer Meals Act of 2017. This bill will help ensure that kids have healthy, nutritious food during the summer. Making sure that every child in America has access to food throughout the year is something we should all agree on. Thank you.” With your voice, we can show Congress that the American people want a world where every child is nourished.”
OPPOSE CUTS TO CRITICAL PROGRAMS
The President’s proposed budget cuts would be devastating for critical anti-hunger programs and the Americans who rely on them for a basic living standard. These include $193 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which would make it harder for low-income and working families, children and seniors to afford nutritious food. These cuts would reduce the ability of SNAP to respond to economic downturns, render the program blind to local economic conditions, hurt the ability of large and working families to apply, exacerbate hunger among seniors, and increase costs for retailers and stores. Additionally, the administration’s budget completely eliminates programs that help schools purchase cafeteria equipment, give mother and infants access to fresh, healthy food, and provide emergency food to seniors and low-income families.
More broadly, the cuts to other programs that secure a basic living standard for all Americans will have a cumulative effect with those to food programs and undermine the ability of Americans to feed their families, see their doctor, and pay their bills. The massive cut to health assistance and Medicaid totaling $1.85 trillion over the next ten years would be devastating for millions of families. Reductions in benefits for the disabled and low-income families are particularly cruel. A wide variety of smaller assistance programs would be cut or eliminated. The inevitable result of this budget will be to force America’s workers, farmers, and families to make impossible choices and push affordable and healthy food further out of reach.