CONGRESSMAN MORELLE SPONSORS LANDMARK LEGISLATION TO FIGHT CHILD HUNGER
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle announced his sponsorship of legislation to ensure that all children across our country will have access to free school meals during the 2020-2021 school year. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited children’s access to free and reduced school meals, which has only been elevated with so much uncertainty going into the new school year. The Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act will allow all children to access breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snack programs either in school or through “grab and go” delivery options.
“Making sure that a child won’t go hungry isn’t a political statement. It’s a moral obligation,” said Congressman Morelle. “As this pandemic continues to exacerbate our nation’s hunger crisis, we need immediate, innovative relief to ensure families have the means to cover basic essentials. Many children get their primary source of food from school meals--without them, millions of students won’t know where to get their basic nutrition needs met. I’m proud to sponsor The Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act, which takes critical steps to ensure every child has access to nutrition during a public health crisis.”
School meal programs have already suffered severe losses during COVID-19 and are struggling to continue feeding our nation’s children. By increasing school meal participation rates, the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act would help make sure those children can continue to eat, and these programs can continue to serve.
Under the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act:
- All students will temporarily be made eligible for free school meals during the 2020-2021 school year through the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
- Due to the flexibility granted to USDA under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, free school meals will be available to students during remote learning through “grab and go” or meal delivery.
- All school districts, including those operating off-site services, can serve all children without having to certify the eligibility of each individual child.
- Anywhere in the country, schools and non-profit community partners can operate meal services, including off-site, under the Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) and the Summer Seamless Option (SSO), where they can serve all children without having to certify the eligibility of each individual child.
- Anywhere in the country, schools and non-profit community partners will be able to serve afterschool meals and snacks, under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool Program or the NSLP Afterschool Snack Program, without having to certify the eligibility of each individual child.
- All Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) day care homes will be eligible for reimbursement at the Tier 1 level.