It’s Time to Strengthen Child Nutrition through the Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022 in Health

Co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC)’s Food and Nutrition Security Task Force—former Agriculture Secretaries Dan R. Glickman and Ann M. Veneman, chef and founder of the World Central Kitchen José Andrés; and The Food Industry Association President and CEO Leslie Sarasin—and BPC Action commend the bipartisan leadership of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member John Boozman, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott, and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx for their efforts to ensure students can access healthy school meals.

The Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022 will provide important funding and flexibility for communities to ensure children have access to healthy meals this summer and provide support to schools and child care facilities that will experience supply chain challenges and high food costs for the coming school year. It will also expand access to school meals for low-income children.

Food and nutrition security are vital to ensure a robust learning environment as well as a child’s long-term health and well-being. Extending the USDA waiver authority for these food and nutrition programs will continue to ensure schools have the flexibility to offer healthy and nutritious foods to children.

BPC’s Food and Nutrition Security Task Force issued recommendations earlier this year focused on child nutrition programs. One recommendation was to ensure all children, regardless of household income, have access to nutritious foods by providing school meals to all students at no cost. We recognize the investments needed in order to implement this policy and have included policy options that would make progress toward the ultimate goal of universal free school meals.

We applaud Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Boozman, Chairman Scott, and Ranking Member Foxx for their leadership, and BPC Action stands ready to help continue the bipartisan momentum on improving the nation’s food and nutrition security.