Hello everyone, Hannah here! I am so excited to be back with you all this month! This month we are going to be talking about new legislation that would provide free meals to school children nationwide: The Universal School Meals Program Act.
On May 10th, Senators Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representatives Ilhan Omar and Gwen Moore introduced this bill that will continue a pandemic waiver that provides access to free, nutritious meals for all children enrolled in school. The pandemic has been immensely challenging for everyone and this bill would give many families peace of mind, knowing that their children are eating as often as they should. The Universal School Meals Program Act would provide free breakfast and lunch to students regardless of their family’s income. Unfortunately, many families are food insecure and millions more are right on the cusp, but are denied assistance from school meal programs. This bill would ensure that no child goes hungry, and will help ease budget shortfalls and administrative burdens for school meal programs. The American Heart Association released this statement in support of the Universal School Meals Program:
“The Universal Schools Meals Program Act would provide equitable access to healthy meals for children, remove financial burdens for families, help children who might be on the edge of eligibility access nutritious meals and mitigate the shame some students face in their school cafeteria. Every child deserves access to healthy meals, this bill would successfully remove barriers and ensure children are getting the nutrition they need to thrive.”
In order to properly adjust to our new normal, we must make sure that our children are not hungry amongst all of the other changes they have had to undergo this past year. COVID-19 has been devastating for so many families and this bill is a huge step in the right direction. School children have been greatly affected by the pandemic, from school closures to transitioning to virtual learning. For many children, these changes have impacted how and when they eat.
The Universal School Meals Program Act would be life changing and an amazing step towards our comeback from COVID-19. School children and their families will be relieved of the stress of where their next meal is coming from and that is something worth fighting for! No child should be hungry and with this bill, they will no longer have to.
That’s all for me this month, guys! I hope you all enjoyed, and I’ll be back next month!
All my love,
Guest Blogger & AHA Advocate