The months of August and September mark the time for new beginnings. Young children are going off to school; young adults are off to college; and we begin our “normal” routine. As I reflect on this summer, I recall the worries of drought, concerns about the economy and the slowly increasing gas prices. All of which continued to add pressure to the 36 million hungry Americans, including 12 million children to constantly go between proper nutrition and not being able to provide for their families.
Studies show that children who do not receive proper nutrition can face poor cognitive development, lower test scores, increased risk of illness and a number of other issues. Yet, as we enter a new school year, there are federally funded programs available to student and their families to regulate the fluctuation of having nutritious food or not being provided with foods to sustain themselves. One of the most important programs available to children at school is the National School Lunch Program. The NSLP ensures that all school children receive nutritious lunches every day at school.
This September also marks the expiration of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2004. Lawmakers must ask themselves a number of questions to understand how the Child Nutrition Program can best address the needs of the hungry and how nutritious meals can be provided to children in school on a daily basis. The Child Nutrition Act supports a series of programs, including the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program, that provide daily nutritious meals to school children in need. Every five years, lawmakers work together to model improvements and reauthorize the federal Child Nutrition Program.
Contact your local legislators and promote the Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, and help put an END to childhood hunger.