Ringing the school bell for child nutrition

Photo by Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World

By Eric Mitchell

As millions of the nation’s children head back to school, Congress must get back to work too. More than 15 million children, 1 in 5, continued to live at risk of hunger in 2014, according to a new government report released this week.

This is unacceptable. Now is the time to email or call your member of Congress. Call 800-826-3688 and tell your U.S. representative and your U.S. senators that Congress must pass a child nutrition bill that connects children at risk of hunger with the meals they need to learn and grow.

The report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 1 million children lived in households in which “children were hungry, skipped a meal, or did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food.” Children who are hungry and at risk of hunger are more likely to struggle in school and have an increased risk for illnesses and weakened immune systems.

Often, schools meals are the only meals a child receives during the day. That is why it is so crucial that Congress pass a child nutrition bill.

Bread’s 2015 Offering of Letters: Feed Our Children is focused on ensuring Congress reauthorizes the child nutrition bill. The legislation that governs children’s school lunches and breakfasts, as well as child care and after school meals, is set to expire on September 30.

This year, Congress has an opportunity to help reduce child hunger and food insecurity by passing a child nutrition bill. More can be done to connect children at risk of hunger with the meals they need to learn and grow. For every six low-income children who receive a school lunch, only about half receive breakfast, and only one receives a summer meal.

Call 800-826-3688 or email Congress today, and tell them to pass a strong child nutrition bill. Together we can ensure that future reports show continued progress toward ending childhood hunger.

Eric Mitchell is the director of government relations at Bread for the World.

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