Good nutrition and strong academic outcomes are inextricably linked. On the other hand, nutrition insecurity can have long-lasting negative impact on overall health and put children at higher risk for chronic diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the need to provide healthy school meals for ALL regardless of income, especially given its disproportionate impact on people with diet-related diseases and communities of color. Investing in school nutrition programs and our nation’s children is critical to help establish life-long healthy eating habits.
U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Gwen Moore (Wis.) announced legislation to expand on the success of the universal free lunch approach recently extended by the USDA during the COVID-19 pandemic, which would bring long-term relief to millions of food-insecure families. The Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021 would permanently provide free breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack to all school children regardless of income, eliminate school meal debt and strengthen local economies by incentivizing local food procurement.
Contact your members of Congress today and ask them to co-sponsor this important bill.
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