FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
SNA Implores Congress to Pass a CNR Bill that Protects School Meal Programs for Students
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) is calling on Congress to pass a bipartisan Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill that reaffirms the long-standing federal commitment to ensuring student access to healthy meals at school.
SNA strongly opposes H.R. 5003, the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, as amended and approved by the House Education and the Workforce Committee today.
“Although the House bill provides a much appreciated and necessary increase to federal reimbursements for school breakfast, portions of the bill will cause irreparable harm to federal school meal programs,” said SNA President Jean Ronnei, SNS.
Notably, the bill establishes a block grant pilot project in three states that will cut funds for school meal programs and nullify crucial federal mandates, including student eligibility rules for free and reduced price meals and nutrition standards.
“The block grant pilot is the opening salvo in an aggressive, alarming attack on the future of school meals,” said Ronnei. “The provision opens the door to a broader effort to block grant school meal programs nationwide.” (Click here for SNA’s previous statement on the block grant pilot.)
The House bill also restricts school eligibility for CEP, the Community Eligibility Provision, a successful program that has expanded access to healthy school meals, eliminated the school meal stigma for low income students, and helped preserve the fiscal solvency of school meal programs.
“Congress must come together to pass a bipartisan Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill that provides additional funding for school meal programs and includes the Senate agreement on school nutrition standards,” said Ronnei. “In 1946, Congress made a promise to ensure America’s students have access to the nutritious meals they need to succeed at school. Our children are relying on Congress to keep their promise.”
SNA’s 2016 Position Paper outlines SNA’s reauthorization requests.
About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 56,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals .