Every five years Congress reauthorizes child nutrition programs to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious food. Between now and next year, Congress will be working to reauthorize several programs which fall under Child Nutrition, including:
- The National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program which guarantees children receive healthy meals during their school day. In 2012-2013, 20.8 million low-income children nation-wide received free or reduced-price lunches.
- The Child and Adult Care Food Program which reimburses child care centers, Head Start Programs, family child care homes, homeless shelters and afterschool programs for meals.
- The Summer Food Service Program and the Afterschool Snack Programs ensure that children have meals during summer and after school.
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides food, nutrition education and health care to low-income pregnant women, infants and children under 5.
- WIC Farmer’s Market Program provides vouchers for low-income women to purchase fresh produce at Farmer’s Markets.
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program serves low-income children in high need schools.
- The Special Milk Program serves milk to low-income children not participating in other programs.
Reauthorization affords advocates and lawmakers the opportunity to improve and strengthen programs that bolster educational achievement, economic security, nutrition and health for millions of low-income children.
In the coming months you’ll hear more from the Public Policy team at Food Lifeline about ways to let our congressional delegation know how important these programs are to our local communities. To learn more about how these programs work and the impact they have visit FRAC’s Legislative Action Center.