for more information, visit Hunger Solutions New York
𝙏𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝘼𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙉𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙤 𝙎𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙜𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 & 𝙄𝙢𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝘾𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙙 𝙉𝙪𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙢𝙨
𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘈𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯: 𝘚𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘚𝘸𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘗𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘦𝘸𝘭𝘺 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘕𝘶𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘉𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘚𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘔𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘴, 𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘴, 𝘊𝘈𝘊𝘍𝘗, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘞𝘐𝘊
Hunger Solutions New York applauds the newly introduced Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, a comprehensive Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill encompassing many of our top priorities for strengthening child nutrition programs, including key flexibilities and investments that proved successful during the pandemic. CNR is the primary opportunity for legislative improvements to the federal child nutrition programs, including school meals, summer meals, CACFP, and WIC. The CNR package introduced in the House Education and Labor Committee last week would be the first reauthorization since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010. It comes at a pivotal time, following two years of unprecedented demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, and as many families face a looming hunger cliff in the months ahead.
This bill would dramatically expand access to healthy meals for New York’s children. Among many other impactful provisions, the bill would:
• 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘀 through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), including by establishing a statewide CEP option that could allow New York to provide healthy school meals for all students at little or no additional cost to the state, extending access to free school meals to approximately 800,000 additional students. Other provisions expanding eligibility for CEP and increasing the provision’s reimbursement multiplier would expand CEP participation to approximately 590 new schools across the state, and bring additional funds to more than 670 currently participating schools.
• 𝗘𝘅𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗪𝗜𝗖 𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 to a child’s sixth birthday or their first day of full-day kindergarten, and extend WIC certification periods to two years to enhance maternal nutrition and support for new parents. Every dollar spent on WIC returns more than double its investment, demonstrating the power of early nutrition intervention and tailored support.
• 𝗠𝗼𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗪𝗜𝗖 by permanently relaxing physical presence regulations, allowing clinics to offer remote services, certification options, and benefit issuance. The bill also modernizes the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program and eases regulatory barriers to online shopping options. These changes will bridge nutrition gaps during critical years of growth and development and help WIC reach more eligible New Yorkers, only about half of whom currently participate.
• 𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗮 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘄𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗦𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗘𝗕𝗧 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 that would provide $75/month in food benefits to approximately 2.5 million eligible children in New York during the summer break from school, when kids lose access to healthy school breakfast and lunch.
• 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘀 by adjusting the area eligibility threshold from 50% to 40% of children qualifying for free or reduced-price school meals, allowing more communities to operate sites, especially in rural areas. Pre-pandemic, only 1 in 4 of New York’s low-income children had access to traditional summer meal programs; expanding site eligibility and providing summer EBT benefits will help close the summer nutrition gap and ensure kids are ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.
• 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀’ 𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗱𝗮𝘆 through CACFP for children in full-day care, so our youngest children have the complete nutrition they need to grow and thrive.
We commend advocates in our state and across the country for their tireless work to advance these provisions. We also extend our deepest gratitude to New York’s legislative champions, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, whose Summer Meals Act and MODERN WIC Act informed important provisions in the bill, and New York’s House Education and Labor Committee members who cosponsored key marker bills, including Committee Vice Chair Jamaal Bowman, Representative Joseph Morelle, Representative Mondaire Jones, and Representative Adriano Espaillat.
𝙃𝙪𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧 𝙎𝙤𝙡𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝙔𝙤𝙧𝙠 𝙪𝙧𝙜𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙃𝙤𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙀𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙇𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙧 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙞𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙦𝙪𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙡𝙮 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡 𝙗𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙨𝙤 𝙞𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙢𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙃𝙤𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙛𝙡𝙤𝙤𝙧.
Urge your House Representative to support the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act.
Take Action Now
𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗔𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝗡𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗕𝘂𝗱𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
Ongoing budget reconciliation negotiations provide another opportunity for much-needed investments in child nutrition programs, including actions to avert a fast-approaching hunger cliff at the start of the school year, when waivers allowing school meals for all students at no charge are set to expire. While we commend the recently-passed Keep Kids Fed Act which extended key waivers through the summer and provided more limited support for the upcoming school year, we need Congress to finish the job to ensure children have continued access to healthy meals in the year ahead. The budget reconciliation must:
• Extend USDA’s authority to issue waivers allowing schools to offer meals to all students at no charge during the 2022-2023 school year.
• Expand eligibility for the Community Eligibility Provision, increase its reimbursement multiplier to make participation financially viable for more schools, and establish a statewide CEP option.
• Establish a nationwide Summer EBT program to support children’s access to healthy food over the summer break from school.
𝙒𝙚 𝙪𝙧𝙜𝙚 𝘾𝙤𝙣𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙯𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙣’𝙨 𝙖𝙘𝙘𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙣𝙪𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙣𝙚𝙜𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙖𝙘𝙩 𝙦𝙪𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙡𝙮 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙮 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙧𝙚𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙡 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙖𝙡𝙡.
Urge our Senators to prioritize child nutrition in budget reconciliation.
Take Action Now
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The Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act would be a gamechanger for NY’s children, expanding access to #SchoolMeals, #SummerMeals, #WIC, and #CACFP, critical programs that reduce hunger, improve health & support learning. Urge Congress to quickly pass the bill: https://ctt.ec/yLTei+
NY kids face a hunger cliff at the start of the school year, when #HealthySchoolMealsForAll waivers are set to expire. Congress must extend #FreeSchoolMeals for the 22-23SY and expand #CEP & #SummerEBT in budget reconciliation. Contact your Senators: https://ctt.ec/F7e40+