• Samantha Marshall

Take Action! Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act moving in the House

Updated 7/25/2022, 1:35 p.m. to reflect hearing has been scheduled and bill number.


Remember that act in Congress that we have been talking about for years? The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act - the one that could make it so there was an extra reimbursable meal for CACFP - among other positive changes? It's moving forward! A bill has been proposed by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Representative Bonamici (D-OR) to the House Education and Labor Committee. It is called the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act. This is not a marker bill, it's the real thing, H.R. 8450 is moving through the House quickly. The bill mark-up (considered) in the full House and Education Labor Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, July 27th at 10:15 a.m. eastern! You can watch it here. It must be voted out of the Education and Labor Committee before August recess to ensure House floor action in September (FRAC).


We urge you to tell your representatives to support this bill. It is a big step forward in the right direction for CACFP and child nutrition programs. Just fill out this quick form. You could also personalize the email that will be sent! The letter that will be sent is copied below.


Items included in the bill for CACFP:

  • Additional reimbursable meal

  • Increases age limit for youth experiencing homelessness from 18 to 25

  • Use the Consumer Price Index for food away from home to calculate annual rate adjustments for home-based child care providers (this is how center rates are established currently)

  • Annual eligibility for for-profit child care centers

  • Improves serious deficiency process

  • Establish an advisory committee to reduce paperwork

  • Automatic eligibility for benefits among children in households receiving SNAP

Read FRAC's Fact Sheet to learn more about the provisions in the entire bill.



 

Letter that will be sent out via FRAC's action page.


House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) has just released the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, his groundbreaking Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill. This game-changing legislation will significantly move the needle on eradicating child hunger and improving health outcomes for children, especially children in low-income families. The bill is expected to be marked-up in Committee before the August recess.


We urge you to support this critically-important piece of legislation and to speak out and support the bill as it makes its way through Committee and Congress.


Key highlights of the bill include provisions that would:

  • dramatically increase children’s access to free school meals by expanding community eligibility (CEP) which would allow more high-need schools to offer free meals to all students at no charge and expand direct (automatic) certification to include Medicaid;

  • provide critical protections for children and families with unpaid school meal fees and require school districts to take steps to determine if families who are accruing school lunch debt are eligible for free or reduced-price meals;

  • significantly expand access to summer meals and create a nationwide Summer EBT program,

  • give the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) waiver authority during federally declared emergencies;

  • allow for an additional reimbursable meal for children in a full day of care, helping to provide the full complement of meals young children need to grow and thrive;

  • modernize the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) by requiring WIC clinics to offer services over the phone and via video options and allow remote benefit issuance;

  • extend WIC benefits to children up to 6 years old, and extend certification periods to two years for infants, children, and postpartum individuals; and

  • create a pilot program to allow Tribal governments to express their inherent sovereignty in the space of food and agriculture by administering the child nutrition programs.

As my Representative in Congress, I am counting on you to endorse, and speak out in support of, the “Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act” and to “vote yes” as the bill comes before the Education and Labor Committee and subsequently moves to the House floor.

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