The ELCA is committed to fighting childhood hunger. That commitment, rooted in the baptismal call to care for our neighbors in need, is why we as a church have advocated for a strong renewal of the Child Nutrition Programs that are critical to the health and wellbeing of children and families throughout our nation.
ELCA Advocacy opposes the recently-introduced U.S. House of Representatives “Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, (H.R. 5003),” that rolls back many years of successes in feeding millions of hungry children. It substantially reduces access to school meal programs impacting some of our most food insecure communities.
Some of the worst provisions of this legislation would:
Reduce the number of schools that are eligible to implement community eligibility (high poverty schools which provide free meals for all of their students).
Raise barriers and more red tape to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
Roll back science-based nutrition standards for schools
Create additional requirements for schools and low-income families, jeopardizing access to school meals for thousands of students.
Our nation's Child Nutrition programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides nutritious food, education, and access to health care for millions of low-income new mothers and infants; as well as the National School Lunch Program and the Summer Food Service Program, both of which guarantee that millions of low-income children have access to healthy food throughout the year.