Murkowski Works to Improve Summer Nutrition for Thousands of Young Alaskans
Senator: Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation, Introduces Bill to Provide Nutritious Options for Vulnerable Youth
WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Lisa Murkowski joined Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to introduce S.2527, the Summer Meals Act, to help ensure that fewer young Alaskans in financial need go hungry over the summer. This bipartisan legislation would make it easier for community organizations to feed children through the Summer Food Service Program, which provides free, nutritious meals to children age 18 or younger at approved sites located in areas where at least 50% of the children are low-income.
“Each year, too many children experience food insecurity on the last day of school. For them, summer means the sound of a growling belly, not the sounds of play and laughter. The Summer Food Service Program helps schools and community groups feed hungry kids during the summer, but red tape keeps it from working as well as it could – putting the nutrition of as many as 40,000 Alaskan children in doubt.”
The Summer Meals Act would increase access to summer meals by: 1) improving coordination between school year meal programs and the Summer Food Service Program; 2) encouraging more groups to participate by reducing federal red tape; 3) increasing participation by allowing innovative solutions for limited transportation; and 4) allowing day-long programs to serve up to three meals per day.
“For too many vulnerable young Alaskans, when school is out, their hunger doesn’t go on vacation,” said Murkowski. I am proud to join in the effort to improve this important program, and I look forward to honing it further as it moves through the committee process to make it the most cost-effective, efficient program possible.”