School's out for the summer – and this year especially, kids should be playing outside and enjoying long-awaited fun with their families. But for too many kids, school being out for the summer means the start of an agonizing stretch without the breakfast and lunch that schools provide.
Millions of families who rely on school meal programs during the school year lose access to that critical food in the summer months. And in many cases, the summer food programs that do exist can be hard to access, especially in rural areas where kids are dispersed. The result: fewer than 1 in 5 kids who need summer meals access them, leaving 19 million kids without the food they need.
Summer doesn't have to mean empty tummies – Congress can ensure families get the support they need all year round in the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization by supporting three critical bills.
The ongoing economic impact of the pandemic means even more of our neighbors need help with food – we have the chance to address this crisis. Will you urge your lawmakers to support the three bills that would help feed millions of kids across the country? These bipartisan bills would improve kids' access to summer meals:
The Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2021 from Senators Boozman (R-AR) and Leahy (D-VT) makes it easier for kids to access meals if they are not able to get to a summer site.
The Summer Meals Act of 2021 from Senators Gillibrand (D-NY) and Murkowski (R-AK) and Representatives Young (R-AK) and Larsen (D-WA) improves access to summer meal sites by cutting down on the red tape needed to set them up.
The Stop Child Hunger Act of 2021 from Senator Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Hayes (D-CT) and Levin (D-CA) ensures kids who usually receive meals at school can get needed nutrition with a grocery card in the summer and during other school breaks.
These changes would make a huge difference in the lives of kids facing hunger. Please, tell your lawmakers to end summer hunger by supporting these bills now.
Every child who needs food assistance should receive it – thank you for speaking up.
*This information is courtesy of Amirio Freeman, Advocacy Specialist,