Urgent Action Needed: Call Your Members of Congress and Urge passage of The Keep Kids Fed Act, H.R. 8150
In response to immense pressure from advocates across the country, Congress – in a rare bipartisan and bicameral effort – is moving to help mitigate the impact of the loss of the child nutrition waivers (due to expire on June 30, 2022). The Keep Kids Fed Act, H.R. 8150, introduced by Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) and House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC), is an important first step that would increase reimbursements to schools and child care centers, support access to summer meals, allow children who are eligible to receive reduced-price school meals to receive free school meals, and streamline access to healthy meals for children in family child care. (Read FRAC's press release).
Congress must pass this legislation quickly to support access to summer meals and child care this summer. The bill would provide schools, child care providers, and summer programs additional resources to help them overcome supply chain disruptions, soaring prices for food, transportation and supplies, and rising labor costs.
Call your Members of Congress Today
Now is the time to weigh-in with your Congressional Delegation. Call your Senators, then call your House Member and urge them to “Vote Yes” on The Keep Kids Fed Act, a bill that will begin to provide much-needed relief to providers and families across the country. To easily connect with your Congressional delegation, call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.
Background: The Senate is aiming to use a special process, Unanimous Consent, which literally requires all 100 Senators to allow a bill to move forward; one “nay” vote could derail the entire process. It is imperative that every Senator be urged to allow this bill to move forward due to the looming deadline of the child nutrition waivers (June 30, 2022). Once the Senate passes the bill, it will quickly move to the House of Representatives where the bill could also move by an expedited process known as “Suspension.”
Provisions in The Keep Kids Fed Act
Extends USDA’s authority to issue Summer Nutrition waivers through September 30, 2022; meal pattern waivers through June 30, 2022, and non-cost nationwide waivers through school year 2022-2023.
Increases the school breakfast reimbursement by 10 cents and the school lunch reimbursement by 40 cents.
Allows children eligible for reduced-price school meals to receive free school meals.
Extends the Area Eligibility waiver allowing family child care homes to receive the higher Tier 1 reimbursements through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Streamlines access to healthy meals for children in family child care homes by extending the area eligibility test waiver. This year, one of the most pressing problems is that schools do not have the income data needed to establish area eligibility. In addition, this test is not an effective mechanism, it misses many providers serving low-income children, especially in rural and suburban areas.
Increases CACFP Reimbursements by 10 cents for each meal and snack for child care providers and afterschool programs. This will help to stem participation declines, support good nutrition, and provide relief for struggling child care to cope with supply chain and cost issues. These enhanced reimbursements will make it more affordable to provide the healthy foods required byCACFP. These healthy CACFP meals and snacks for young children in child care are essential to supporting good health and development.