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House has passed Build Back Better, but we cannot let up on child hunger

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

The House recently passed its version of the Build Back Better Act. The bill includes $10B of investments in federal nutrition programs, including key priorities of the Feeding America nationwide network of Food Banks, including ours.

The critical child nutrition provisions within the bill are expected to:

  • expand the number of schools that would be able to offer free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision;

  • give states the option to implement the Community Eligibility Provision statewide;

  • provide $30 million for school kitchen equipment;

  • provide $250 million for a Healthy School Meal Incentives demonstration project;

  • extend the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program nationwide for students who receive free or reduced-price school meals; and

  • allow states, as well as Indian Tribal Organizations, that participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to provide Summer EBT.

Studies show school meals can help reduce child hunger and improve students’ academic achievement. Community eligibility offers an important opportunity for schools to respond to the increased nutritional needs among their students.

Summer EBT complements the community eligibility expansion, by helping to ensure that children do not go hungry during summer break when they lose access to school meals.

Evaluations of the Summer EBT demonstration projects found that the program improved nutrition and reduced food insecurity.

Feeding America Food Banks now urge the Senate to swiftly take up this legislation without delay. We also urges Senate leaders to reject any amendments that could weaken the provisions that currently provide children with the nutrition they will need year-round as they overcome the educational, health, and economic impacts of the pandemic. Tell our lawmakers: Kids and families are counting on you. Please push funding for expanded hunger-fighting programs across the finish line. ACT NOW!

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Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

3655 Reed St. 

Winston-Salem, NC 27107

Tel: 336-784-5770

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