If Your Parents Wax Poetic about their Childhood in the Country, You Should Care About the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act.
July 24, 2009 § Leave a comment
Advocacy and Marketing Online Director
Growing up in New York City, I wasn’t exposed enough to the day-to-day joys of country life – at least that’s what my father told me. When my preteen world meant trips to the mall and MTV, his stories of playing hide-and-seek in the woods, picking fresh mangoes from the neighbor’s tree and spending an afternoon at the local fishing hole, didn’t make an impression on me.
When I moved to Texas and met more rural-turned-urban friends, I began to understand why these memories are cherished by my father. From what I understand, there’s a type of freedom and creativity children experience that is unique to rural life. I’m proud to say, I’m no longer the ignorant city dweller who thinks Texans spend their days tipping cows for fun.
If Central Texans value these country memories, and wish to preserve these opportunities for future generations, we must also ensure that federal feeding programs don’t forget our rural families.
As you know, hunger is not just an urban issue. However, the majority of sponsors and sites participating in the Summer Food Service program in Central Texas are in urban areas. Summer meals are available in areas where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals. A successful pilot program in Pennsylvania showed that by simply reducing the threshold to 40 percent, significantly increased the number of sites and provided tens of thousands more meals.
H.R. 540, the Summer Food Service Rural Expansion Act, makes the successful pilot program a permanent program and would be effective for every state. This bill amends the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act up for review this fall.
Let’s give children more than good memories. Let’s give them good food during the summer.
Ask your congressman to co-sponsor H.R. 540.
Click here to find your legislative representative.