Davis, Swalwell Introduce Meals on Wheels for Kids Act
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) today introduced the Meals on Wheels for Kids Act to establish a pilot grant program to deliver healthy meals to children in rural and difficult-to-reach areas who often rely on nutritious school-provided meals during the school year, but given their geographic location, are unable to get to summer meal sites while they’re not in school.
"Meals on Wheels is such a successful public-private partnership that helps adults in rural areas have access to nutritious meals that we want to create a similar program to help kids in rural or hard-to-reach areas when they're not in school," said Davis. "In Illinois, there are 35 counties, six within my district alone, without a summer meal site and many more counties are underserved. Our bill will help fill in these gaps when schools are closed and could help if congregate feeding sites are unable to operate due to a pandemic like the one we're experiencing now."
“I am proud to work with Rep. Davis on this bipartisan effort to create more options for healthy meals for kids during summer months and school closures, particularly when barriers like transportation and the need for social distancing exist,” Swalwell said. “There are many ways to solve this issue, and our work isn’t yet done, but I am glad to come together with members from around the country to attempt to ease some of the devastating effects of this pandemic. The only way we will get through this is together.”
CLICK HERE for additional details of the bill.
The Meals on Wheels for Kids Act is supported by Share our Strength and Chef José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen.
“Summer is one of the hungriest times of the year for kids, but the summer meals program only reaches a fraction of those who are eligible,” says Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. “Summer meals are a lifeline for kids when schools are closed, but there are too many barriers that prevent kids from accessing them. The Meals on Wheels for Kids pilot program provides one more option that will help connect more kids to the nutrition they need, especially in rural and hard-to-reach communities.”
“As our country faces difficult times and food access becomes less certain, students should not miss out on summer meals simply because of the community in which they live,” said Chef José Andrés. “I am proud to support the Meals on Wheels for Kids Act and join Representatives Davis and Swalwell's bipartisan effort to work with USDA on this innovative approach to fulfilling our national commitment to school nutrition.”
Additional cosponsors of the bill include: U.S. Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Michael McCaul (R-TX), David Trone (D-MD), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Cindy Axne (D-IA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Daren Soto (D-FL), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-Washington, DC), and Jason Crow (D-CO), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Don Young (R-AK), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Colin Allred (D-TX), and John Carter (R-TX).