This month U.S. Representative Rick Larsen introduced legislation aimed at making after-school meals and snacks available to more children.
The bill, given the acronym-friendly title Ensuring All Students Year-round (EASY) Acess to Meals and Snacks Act, woulld give programs that serve meals and snacks during the school year the same rate they get for serving meals and snacks over the summer. The problem is, summer food and school-year food are reimbursed through separate federal programs that currently pay different rates. The EASY Act would link the two programs and bump reimbursements up to the higher level currently paid only during the summer.
The change is aimed at encouraging more organizations to serve meals and snacks to low-income children year-round.
The Children's Alliance supports the bill. Here's what Linda Stone, the Children's Alliance's Senior Food Policy Coordinator, had to say about it:
“The number of households facing hunger in Washington state rose 24% over the last year. With more of our neighbors experiencing tough economic times, Congressman Larsen’s bill will make it easier for communities to come together to help ensure kids have the nutrition they need.”