Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act Would Make Child Nutrition Program More Flexible During Summer Months
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today hosted a news conference call to discuss a bipartisan bill that would make summer meals for kids more accessible during the months when schools are closed, while also highlighting the importance of current summer food programs for children in Ohio. Brown, a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, recently introduced the legislation in the Senate.
According to the Food Research and Action Center, in 2019, Ohio’s summer nutrition programs reached only about 1 in 10 eligible children. Brown supports the efforts of those current programs, and introduced this bill so flexibilities, like allowing food to be eaten off site, letting families pick up “grab and go” meals and providing an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program so families can buy their own food, to boost participation in the program, and make sure Ohio’s children don’t go hungry.
“Ohio families need to know the end of the school year doesn’t mean an end to healthy meals for their children,” said Brown. “It’s why I introduced the bipartisan Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act, to make it easier for Ohio kids and their families to access free lunch and snacks through the Summer Food Service Program.”
Brown was joined on today’s call by Tyra Jackson, the Executive Director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties. She said this program allows children to get nutritional food they may not otherwise be able to access, and helps families who are already struggling figure out a way to keep food on their tables.
“No one in our community should ever have to go hungry, and we have enough resources that we can address this issue as a community,” said Jackson. “It’s no one’s fault if a family is having a hard time making ends meet. It’s our responsibility as a community to make sure that kids are receiving healthy, nutritional foods all year round.”
The bipartisan bill has also been endorsed by Feeding America, Share Our Strength, Tusk Philanthropies, Bread for the World, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, the Alliance to End Hunger and Save the Children.
A map of existing summer food service program sites can be found here.