No Kid Hungry in the Summertime


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No Kid Hungry in the Summertime

Dear No Kid Hungry,

No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. In this nation of plenty, however, this is a problem with a solution.

The national Summer Food Service Program was created forty years ago to help students get nourishment when school is out of session. When the program works, it's a lifeline for kids in need. Today, however, the program does not work for many kids in need. Barriers like a lack of public transportation, high crime, extreme weather, and excessive red tape block many kids from getting the meals they need.

As a result, for every kid who eats at an open summer meals site, there are five more who miss out. That adds up to millions of hungry kids.

There are more effective, more efficient ways to feed hungry kids in the summertime. In 2015, Congress has the power to change the way kids get food in the summer through the Child Nutrition Reauthorization process.

I urge Congress to support the following improvements to the summer meals program through CNR:
- Continue to support and protect congregate sites
- Give states and communities more options to implement efficient meal delivery programs (home delivered meals, allowing children to leave a site with a meal in certain circumstances) to reach kids in hard to reach communities;
- Allow states the option to provide low-income families with a grocery credit during the summer months.
- Allow community organizations and schools to cut through red tape and combine their meal programs into a single year round program.

The bottom line: We need policies that provide communities with the ability to overcome barriers and connect more kids to summer meals, no matter where they live.

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