Corn Dogs: It’s What’s for Lunch Today at Calvary Baptist’s Summer Meals Program
Davis Helps Serve Lunch, Discusses Child Nutrition Reauthorization
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today helped serve lunch at Calvary Baptist Church to children participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Foodservice Program (SFSP), which provides meals to children in low-income areas. The program is operated by the Illinois State Board of Education along with Rise and Shine Illinois and the Illinois Coalition for Community Services.
“I appreciate the amazing work done by ICCS, Rise and Shine Illinois, Calvary Baptist, and others to serve kids in need and assist communities throughout Central and Southwestern Illinois,” said Davis. “As a father of three school-aged kids, I believe in the success of these programs and will continue to be an advocate for changes that provide greater flexibility so they serve even more kids and reach those in rural areas.”
Davis met with program leaders today to discuss changes to the summer meals program that will allow them serve more kids in rural areas. In the coming months, Davis will introduce legislation to strengthen summer meals programs by providing more flexibility, better transportation options, and reduced paperwork burdens. Davis has advocated for these changes to be made in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization in a letter he led to the chair of the House Committee on Education and Workforce earlier this week.
Text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Scott:
Thank you for your commitment and leadership on nutrition issues. We write to express our support for strong federal nutrition programs for children. In Illinois, these programs serve thousands of low-income children every day.
In the 2013-2014 school year, there were 774,741 individual children receiving free or reduced price lunches through the National School Lunch Program in Illinois. However, only 45% of these children participate in the School Breakfast Program, and only 14% of all eligible Illinois children participate in the Summer Food Service Program. We understand the current fiscal realities and also see great opportunities with the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization to ensure that these programs are working effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of children across Illinois.
The summer months are often the hungriest time of year for low-income children in Illinois. During this time, children face unnecessary barriers that prevent them from accessing summer meals. In rural and suburban areas, lack of transportation options keep kids from accessing summer meals sites, which can be located tens of miles away from a child’s home. In urban areas kids may have to navigate busy city streets and dangerous neighborhoods to reach available sites.
The Child Nutrition Reauthorization offers an important opportunity to strengthen the summer meals program by allowing states and communities the flexibility to offer more options outside of the current structure in select communities. Whether it’s allowing kids to take meals home to eat, direct delivery to children, utilizing summer grocery credit demonstration projects administered by the USDA, or reducing bureaucratic paperwork burdens, there are a number of ways we can support the summer nutrition needs of low-income families, especially in rural communities.
We encourage the Committee to ensure the most efficient and effective methods are used to feed kids in the summer, no matter where they live. Thank you for your hard work and effort to ensure passage of a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization. We look forward to working with you to make that happen.