WASHINGTON, DC- At a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) reiterated his support for a swift and robust reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. Today’s “Improving Nutrition for America’s Children in Difficult Economic Times” hearing comes on the heels of Senator Casey’s keynote speech on Monday to the School Nutrition Association annual legislative conference.
“We are currently facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The effects of this crisis are far reaching and will impact the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization debate.
“The federal government provided help to state and local governments through the economic recovery package, but their budgets are still tight. I can’t think of a better investment than investing in the future of our children and the future of our country.
“Well-fed, healthy kids are the lynchpin to many other major policy initiatives. Children who are hungry and malnourished cannot take full advantage of their education opportunities.
“I hope that the Child Nutrition Act will receive a good funding level that allows us to tackle issues like the reimbursement rate for schools. Sixty-eight percent of school districts that participate in the School Lunch Program say that their reimbursements do not cover the costs of providing meals. I also want to hear how low-cost improvements and efficiencies can help lower administrative costs for these programs.”
The Child Nutrition Act provides nutrition assistance through programs like the federal program that provide school lunch and breakfast, after school meals, and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).