What is the Child Nutrition Reauthorization and why is it so important to addressing childhood hunger?
What is the Child Nutrition Reauthorization?
The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act, the most recent version of which is the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, shapes and funds most of the child nutrition programs in the United States. Congress reviews the operation of these programs every five years.
Why does the Child Nutrition Reauthorization matter?
Project Bread closely monitors the Child Nutrition Reauthorization because, among many other things, it helped to provide over 85 million school lunches to kids across the state of Massachusetts in FY 2018.
The following programs are authorized through the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act:
• The National School Lunch Program, which provides federal reimbursements for school lunches
• The School Breakfast Program, which provides federal reimbursements for school breakfasts
• The Child and Adult Care Food Program, which provides federal reimbursements for child care and adult care centers
• The Summer Food Service Program, which provides federal reimbursements for snacks and meals served to children during the summer
• The Afterschool Meal Program, which provides federal reimbursements for snacks and meals served in afterschool programs
• The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – which provides education and food packages to pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children
• The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides coupons for WIC recipients to purchase produce at farmers’ markets
• The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides funding for fruits and vegetables to be served in low-income elementary schools
• The Special Milk Program, which provides federal reimbursements for milk
What’s happening now?
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 expired on September 30, 2015. Congress did not pass a new Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act in 2015-2016. However, because the programs contained in the HHFKA are permanently authorized, subject to Congressional funding, the child nutrition programs still continue to operate today.
What Can I Do?
1. Sign-up for Project Bread’s Action Team to receive action alerts and updates on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization and other nutrition programs.
2. Post on social media about the importance of SNAP using the hashtag #schoolmeals or #summereatsMA. Be sure to tag Project Bread so we can retweet or share (@projectbread)
3. Promote Summer Eats, Massachusetts name for the Summer Food Service Program. Visit www.meals4kids.org for more information and resources.