The importance of federal child nutrition programs for our childrenNutrition
On May 19th, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. Federal child nutrition programs in this legislation, including school meals and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), provide millions of children in the United States with healthy and nutritious food each day. The focus of these programs should be to provide nutritious meals to those who need it most for as long as they are food insecure.
Witness Kay Brown, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), testified that the WIC program has been shown to provide many benefits including improved infant feeding practices, healthier diets for children and mothers and higher cognitive development in children. Sufficient nutrition is important for children’s growth and development and can influence the quality of their education in the long run.
Also revealed at the hearing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and GAO have been working to strengthen the federal child nutrition programs to make them as efficient and error free as possible, without compromising the quality of the programs or denying meals to those who need them. Reauthorization of the child nutrition programs is an opportunity to provide millions of low-income children access to nutritious food, improving their educational achievement, economic security, nutrition, and health.
Want to learn more? First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. Learn more about our work on child nutrition.