REP. CLARKE INTRODUCES BIPARTISAN BILL TO HELP SUMMER CAMPS KEEP PACE WITH SOARING FOOD COSTS & CONTINUE FEEDING HUNGRY KIDS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 21, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Congressman Marc Molinaro (NY-19) announced the introduction of the Summer Nutrition Parity Act, a bipartisan bill that will help local summer meal providers keep up with inflation and continue serving meals to children.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) donates food to be served to kids in-need through both the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). SFSP is designed to fill the nutrition gap that kids face when school is not in session by serving nutritious meals in low-income areas. Eligible SFSP sites include camps, community organizations, and local school districts. However, school lunches receive nearly 40 cents worth of USDA products per meal through the NSLP, while summer meal sites only receive 1.5 cents through the SFSP because this program’s rate has not been adjusted for inflation in decades.
This legislation provides parity to summer camps by indexing the value of the commodities they receive through the SFSP to inflation – making it equal to the formula that determines the value for school lunches.
“Children are our future. And investing in a child’s health and nutrition is a foundational driver for improving prosperity and economic success. I’m proud to join my colleague, Congressman Molinaro, on this common-sense, bipartisan legislation that seeks to support our children by focusing on one of the most important factors — their health,” said Rep. Clarke.
“We see inflation every time we go to the grocery store. So, it makes sense this same inflationary pressure is pressing down on summer meal sites and threatening their ability to continue feeding kids in-need. My bipartisan bill makes a simple fix to index the donations they receive from the federal government to inflation, so they can continue fighting hunger and caring for kids,” said Rep. Molinaro.
“I wholeheartedly endorse the Summer Nutrition Parity Act. This critical bill will ensure that our children receive nutritious meals throughout the summer, bridging a vital gap in their dietary needs. It’s a significant step towards combating child hunger and reinforces our community’s commitment to the health and well-being of our youth,” said Manny Steinberg, Planning Board Member of the Town of Liberty.
“At the YMCA, we believe summer programs can be transformational, and we know nutritious meals and snacks are a key ingredient of any successful summer program. Hunger doesn’t take a break during the summer, so we’re pleased to see Representatives Molinaro and Clarke introduce this legislation to help federally supported programs keep pace with rising food costs and ensure parity between summer nutrition and other child nutrition programs,” said Suzanne McCormick, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA.