116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
For the one in eight kids who may face hunger today in Iowa, summer is usually the hungriest time of year. This summer, however, may be a different story because new benefits and temporary nutrition waivers are helping to reach even more kids with the food they need. For example, they allow parents to pick up meals for the week or allow organizations to drop meals off at a child’s home.
In fact, because of these types of flexibilities, summer meals programs in Iowa served more than 2 million more meals to kids in need last year. This matters. Through my work with No Kid Hungry and Project Rooted, I’ve learned just how important it is that kids have consistent access to healthy meals when schools are out of session or temporarily closed.
But these measures are temporary. It’s time for Congress to update and modernize the summer meals programs by permanently implementing policies that have fed so many kids during the COVID crisis — additional summer grocery benefits and allowing meals to come to kids to help overcome transportation barriers — and making them part of future solutions.
Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley have an opportunity to support proven solutions like a nationwide Summer EBT program and non-congregate meal options through the Child Nutrition Reauthorization process or the American Families Plan proposal. Hungry kids in Iowa and across the country can’t wait.