“During the summer, a mere 17 percent of the more than 22 million children nationally who receive free or reduced-price lunch during the school year access a summer feeding program – and only 16.7 of children in South Carolina,” said Pat Walker, Lowcountry Food Bank President and CEO. “This leaves 307,109 of children in South Carolina unserved during this critical time away from school. Congress has a chance to help feed more children in the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization process by improving access to summer meals sites, providing a Summer grocery card, and allowing alternate delivery models in areas where kids are not able to access these two programs.”
“We are on the front lines of the fight against child hunger in the 10 coastal South Carolina counties we serve,” said Walker. “Every child deserves to have access to enough food, yet so many miss meals in the summertime when school is closed. Our food bank works hard to provide food to children in our community, but we are burdened by administrative rules that make it hard to operate summer meal sites. Congress can help strengthen our work by streamlining how summer and after school programs work together, allowing our food bank to increase the meals we can provide.”
“Sometimes children cannot access a summer meal site because of where they live,” said Walker. “We support expanding nutrition programs to allow a summer grocery card and alternate delivery models to give children in need equitable access to meals no matter where they live.
“We urge our South Carolina state senators to support the following three bills that would help us ensure every child has access to the nutritious meals they need to grow, learn and thrive.”
* Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019 (S.1918): Introduced by John Boozman (R-AR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and John Hoeven (R-ND)
* Summer Meals Act of 2019 (S.1908): Introduced by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
* Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2019 (S.1941): Introduced by Patty Murray (D-WA)
Click here to contact the South Carolina state senator who represents the district in which you live and show your support to fight childhood hunger in our community.