Monday, December 20, 2010

Feeding CT Kids Together

On Wednesday, January 19th, three (3) Connecticut organizations, the Connecticut Dietetics Association, End Hunger CT!, and the School Nutrition Association of CT will band together to talk about Child Nutrition with our legislators in Hartford.

This breakfast meeting is for Child Nutrition Professionals in CT is an opportunity to come to the Legislative Office Building next to the State Capitol and find out how you can help CT's legislators understand child nutrition programs. Talking points and first timer tips will be provided.

This is a great opportunity to show Hartford that Child Nutrition needs to be a priortity in our state. In New Haven, CT over 80% of our children qualify for free & reduced meals; 1 in 4 children lack access
to nutritious meals. The meals we serve in our schools, for some children are the ONLY meals of the day.

Childhood Obesity and Childhood Hunger go hand in hand. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that the President just signed into law last week has a new competitive grant process for states to carry out strategies to end childhood hunger.  CT needs to lead the way in this mission so we will begin to see a decrease in hunger & obesity related issues in our schools. Our kids aren’t hungry because we lack food or because of a lack of food and nutrition programs. They are hungry because they lack ACCESS to these programs and to the nutritious food they need to grow and thrive!

In Connecticut:
  • 1 in 3 eligible students participate in School Breakfast programs, these numbers are some of the lowest in the country. Increase in breakfast participation gets the students ready for the day, alert and ready to learn. Something as simple as Breakfast, will improve overall education in our schools.

  • 1 in 4 eligible children participate in summer meals programs. In a press release from June 2010, Lucy Nolan, Executive Director from End Hunger CT! stated, the gap is one clear measure of the depth of summer hunger in Connecticut. It is a measure as well of how the state is failing to draw down available federal funds. If the state were to reach just 40 children with summer food for every 100 low-income children who get school lunch during the regular school year, a goal some other states reach, Connecticut would have fed almost 20,000 more children every day in July 2009 and brought in $1.35 million more federal dollars to do so.
Now, more than ever our kids need our support with strong advocacy for child nutrition. Child Nutrition Advocates in Connecticut do a good job banding together to create change. This meeting is a fantastic opportunity to tell your legislators, the officials you voted for and that 'speak' for us in Hartford how you feel and how important it is for them to keep Child Nutrition as a priority in CT!

1 comment:

  1. Until recently, I worked as a therapist in a New Haven child guidance clinic. People often think it's hyperbole when it's said that school lunch may be the only meal of the day some kids get- but it's true. I can't tell you how many kids I used to see who had no other prospects for food on any given day (of course I used to refer their families to DESK and other soup kitchens/food pantries). It's amazing how in this era of childhood obesity there are children right here who don't have access to enough to eat.