Much happened this week at the federal level that will impact our communities and Coloradans struggling with hunger:
Child Nutrition Reauthorization
On Wednesday, the House Education and Workforce Committee marked up a bill, which they introduced in late April to our disappointment. The measure was approved on a near party line vote.
H.R. 5003 moves away from the tradition of bipartisanship that has surrounded our nation’s child nutrition programs and the recognition that these programs work to ensure children from all zip codes have the healthy food needed to thrive. Instead of doing what its title suggests, the “Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act” would roll back years of progress.
If passed by Congress, this bill would:
- Jeopardize access to school meals for thousands of students by creating additional red tape for schools and low-income families in Colorado and across the nation.
- Roll back improved nutrition standards, which are currently being implemented by 98.5% of impacted schools nationwide. H.R. 5003 weakens nutrition standards for food sold in cafeteria a la carte lines and halts the sodium reduction requirements.
- Fail to meet the nutrition needs of Colorado kids who are in child care for longer than eight hours/day.
- Ignore powerful evidence of how to make sure summer isn’t a time of hunger and worry for our kids in rural, urban and suburban areas of Colorado.
- Harm WIC, a program for pregnant mothers and kids under the age of six, by weakening cost-saving measures, introducing additional administrative hurdles, and undercutting nutrition science and standards.
We would like to thank Rep. Jared Polis, who sits on this Committee, for supporting Colorado kids. He opposed H.R. 5003 and voted for amendments that would have strengthened the bill. Rep. Polis successfully proposed an amendment to include pediatricians, dietitians, medical researchers and parents in the review process of school nutrition standards.
Soon we’ll need you to take action, urging Colorado’s Members of Congress to support a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization that invests in the health and well-being of all children.
USDA Rules & Comments
Hunger Free Colorado recently offered feedback to the USDA on two proposed technical rule changes for food stamps, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). One was regarding the rules for SNAP Outreach, or how states educate their residents about food stamps. The other was regarding proposed changes to the requirements for food retailers that accept food stamps.
If interested in Hunger Free Colorado’s feedback and recommendations, access the submitted letters via the links above.
We will continue to keep you updated on federal policy that directly impacts Coloradans who struggle with hunger, as well as the well-being of our communities and economy. Thank you for your continued support!