This update is from the NY Coalition for Healthy School Food:
Dear Child Advocates,
You may have heard that the Senate passed their Child Nutition Reauthorization (CNR) bill last Thursday by unanimous consent. This bill contains $4.5 billion for child nutrition over the next 10 years (this is just 6 cents per meal extra per day, and that is not enough!) We had hoped the Senate bill would pass before recess - and it did - and the momentum would build for the House to pass their version upon return in September with just two weeks before the bill is set to expire.
Unexpectedly, however, the Senate cut $2.2 billion from SNAP (Food Stamps) in order to pay for the child nutrition bill. We oppose funding cuts from SNAP to pay for the CNR.
SNAP, although not a school or child care based program, is important to achieving the goals for all children to have easy access to healthy food. We are disappointed to see this shift of resources from one vital nutrition program to another, and we have registered that disappointment with our Senators.
I urge you to share your opinion today, with Senator Gillibrand (202) 224-4451 and Senator Schumer 202-224-6542 (if you are from New York State). You can thank them for moving this bill, voice concerns about the funding level and source, and share any perspective you have. This is really the last opportunity you will have to have your Senators attention on this bill now that it's passed the chamber. I urge you to take this opportunity to weigh in about their decisions. For more information you can read Senator Gillibrand's press release.
More importantly, there is still time to influence House action on CNR and impact the funding and content of the bill. The House version of CNR invests $8 billion in child nutrition programs (instead of $4.5 billion) and has not targeted other nutrition programs to pay for it. PLEASE TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY to contact your Representative and ask that they fully fund and pass HR 5504, the Improving Nutrition For America's Children Act, when they return from recess in September (not today), and that they do so without cutting funds from other nutrition programs. Please call your Representative today and ask them to pass the House version with AT LEAST $8 billion in funding, without taking money from SNAP (Food Stamps). (Note that once you enter your zip code and address, you will be provided with a link to your Senators' and Respresentative's contact information.) Please also ask that they include the provisions of H.R. 4870 in the bill, to pilot plant-based commodity foods.
This message to the House is truly important. Our Representatives will return to DC today for an emergency vote, and there is concern that the less-well-liked Senate version of CNR will be passed in the House today. Again, the Senate bill makes only half the investment in child nutrition and cuts SNAP (Food Stamps) to do so. We want the stronger House bill to move forward.
Thank you again for your support for child nutrition. Let's hope we start the new year with at least an $8 billion bill and other vital nutrition programs intact!
You can call our Congressman Peter King directly at 202-225-7896.