In the Senate’s version of CNR and it appears all the money for the allocation ($450 million a year x 10 years) is coming out of the Agriculture budget for Conservation. This seems a bit crazy to take from conservation efforts to pay for school meals; sort of like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Is it too much to look outside of the “lunch box” and find additional funding for school nutrition outside of AG money.
At the Childhood Obesity Summit at the White House on Friday the administration officials who attended included Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. In order to effectively tackle the childhood obesity problem Congress needs to look for CNR funding from many different sources including the agencies of the members of the President’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity. While school meals is only part of the equation it is a very important part since school meals feeds 31.5 million school children a day. Many of these children rely on school meals as their ONLY nutrition of the day.
Here are three actions you can take to urge your Members of Congress to invest additional funding to improve access to nutrition assistance for low-income children and achieve the goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015.
1. Ask your Representatives to sign on the “Dear Colleague” letter (pdf). This letter is being circulated by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO). It urges Speaker Nancy Pelosi to help identify funding sources for the $1 billion per year funding increase that President Obama has proposed for Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
2. Contact your members on the Senate Finance (pdf) and Agriculture (pdf) Committees and Senate leadership. Urge them to invest additional funding to improve access to nutrition assistance for low-income children and achieve the goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015. If your Senators are not on one of these target committees, you should still urge them to weigh in with committee members and leadership about the need for additional funding.
3. Contact your members on the House Education and Labor (pdf) and Ways and Means (pdf) Committees and House leadership. Urge them to work towards President Obama's commitment of $10 billion/10 years to improve access to nutrition assistance for low-income children.
Part of this blog note was provided by The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States.
Thank you for your support of our child nutrition programs!