09/08/2021 – This week, Congress is considering bill language for a spending plan that includes efforts to expand education, health care, child support, climate change and investments in infrastructure. The Academy commends the following recommendations released today by the House Committee on Education and Labor for inclusion in the Build Back Better Act:
- Increasing access to free healthy school meals for nearly 9 million more children
- Expanding the critical Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer program to prevent hunger while school is out and
- Investing in school kitchen equipment and nutrition education as well as infrastructure for Older Americans Act congregate and home-delivered meals programs
The Academy applauds House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott for acknowledging and elevating the importance of nutrition security as our country builds back from the COVID-19 pandemic and urges the committee to support these efforts to address nutrition security in communities across the country.
The Academy supports policies that would address long-standing and ongoing racial and ethnic health disparities, including those heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposals put forth by the committee to increase access to healthy food and help establish and maintain healthy eating habits throughout the lifecycle are part of the solution to achieving healthy equity.
The committee's review of these provisions is one of many steps necessary for Congress to pass a reconciliation bill. The House will likely vote on the final language of the bill during the last week of September. If the House bill passes, the Senate will still need to review and pass its version of the bill. If the bill passes in both chambers, it would return to the House for a final vote before going to the President for signature. The Academy will continue to advocate for and support provisions that prioritize nutrition from other congressional committees, like those found in the proposal from the House Education and Labor.
To learn more about the Academy's policy and advocacy efforts on nutrition security and get involved, members are invited to attend the monthly meetings of the Academy's Nutrition Security Affinity Group. Register for the next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, October 6 from 3-4 p.m. (Central Time).