WASHINGTON, DC, June 23, 2022 — The Keep Kids Fed Act, passed by the House of Representatives today, will ensure that all students continue to be eligible for summer meals. The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, issued the following statement:
“The Keep Kids Fed Act provides a critical opportunity to ensure millions of students nationwide continue to benefit from summer feeding programs for the next few months. This bipartisan legislation, which extends the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) waiver authority through the summer, will support programs across the country that continue to face labor and supply shortages, higher food costs and numerous other ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For more than two years, USDA’s child nutrition waivers have not only made all students eligible for meals at no charge and provided schools with more flexibility in how meals are served but have also provided a compelling roadmap for long-term improvement of vital school meal programs. These waivers expire on June 30, and while we are pleased that children won’t go hungry in the summer months, more needs to be done to avoid a nutrition and hunger cliff when students go back to school in the fall. Millions of children – who rely on school meals for half or more of their daily calories - are at risk of losing automatic access to school meals. With school meals being the healthiest source of calories for children and childhood obesity rates increasing during the pandemic, it is more important than ever to safeguard children’s access to the healthy food they need to thrive.
“The American Heart Association appreciates Congress’ work to extend the waivers for summer, but more must be done. The Senate must urgently pass the Keep Kids Fed Act. We also urge lawmakers to extend waivers through the end of the next school year and the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and Summer-EBT through reconciliation, and pass a meaningful child nutrition reauthorization. We have a unique opportunity right now to improve child nutrition programs and guarantee our younger generations are fed, nourished and able to live longer, healthier lives.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For Media Inquiries:
Arielle Beer: 202.785.7902; firstname.lastname@example.org