Congresswoman Adams Calls for Strengthened Summer Meals Program in Impending Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (NC-12) called on House leadership to make the summer meals program a priority in the forthcoming child nutrition reauthorization. The summer meals program has not been updated since 1975. Currently, only 18 percent of children who receive free or reduced meals at school actually receive a summer meal, leaving many students to go hungry during the summer months. To make matters worse, 30 percent of low-income children live in communities that are foreclosed from the summer meal program. In North Carolina, more than 626,100 children qualify for free or reduced priced lunch; however, only 14 percent of low-income children receive summer meals.
“Through several roundtables I’ve held, I’ve learned there is much work to be done to strengthen the summer meals program to ensure more children have access to quality, nutritious food during the summer,” said Congresswoman Adams. “In North Carolina, 22 percent of low-income children live in areas that are not even eligible for summer meals. This legislation hasn’t been updated for more than 40 years. Now is the time for us to move forward with a strong child nutrition reauthorization bill that improves the summer meal program in addition to strengthening other critical programs.”
Congresswoman Adams led a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman John Kline and Congressman Bobby Scott - who have committee jurisdiction over child nutrition legislation. In addition to Congresswoman Adams, the letter is signed by 85 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. In their letter, the Representatives wrote, “Proven solutions exist that would strengthen the summer meals program. These include streamlining out-of-school programs to reduce paperwork and make it easier for sites to operate; providing grocery credits to low-income families during the summer months; and, providing more options for community-based organizations to reach children with nutritious meals.”
In North Carolina, more than 1.8 million people are food insecure. Overall, North Carolina’s 12th District is first in the state and ninth in the country for hunger. Greensboro and Highpoint are first in the nation for food insecurity. Congresswoman Adams launched the ‘Adams Hunger Initiative’ in May, shortly after a report released by the Food Research and Action Center, listed High Point and Greensboro as first in the nation for food insecurity. Last week, child nutrition reauthorization legislation passed out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. The House has yet to finalize its version of the legislation.
Congresswoman Adams is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and Subcommittee on Nutrition, as well as the House Education and the Workforce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization. CNR Summer Meals Letter (Final).pdf