NFU Emphasizes Importance of Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the organization is committed to see an end to our nation’s hunger crisis, emphasizing reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.

“Congress’s one-year reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act will provide only temporary relief for the nearly one in four hungry children in the U.S.,” Johnson said.

In a letter submitted to the Senate Agriculture Committee today, Johnson stated that, while the new investments in the WIC, summer, and afterschool meal programs and new grant opportunities established by the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill will increase children’s access to nutritious food, it is clear that more must be done.

“We are committed to constructively working with members of the Senate to ensure that our nation’s hunger crisis is brought to an end,” Johnson said.

Johnson outlined three main points NFU believes should be included in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. “In order to solve our nation’s hunger and food insecurity challenges,” Johnson said, “A strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill must increase access to and participation in nutrition programs, especially by undeserved children and communities. It must also enhance nutrition quality and work to simplify and modernize program administration in order to reduce the administrative burden on small, often understaffed nutrition program providers.”

NFU has long had a policy that national nutrition addresses both the quantity and quality of food available to needy Americans. Nutrition programs should place an emphasis on fresh and local foods to ensure that Americans of all income levels have access to healthy, nutritious food. NFU supports reauthorization and full funding of federal nutrition programs under the auspices of USDA.

Johnson summarized the letter by expressing the interest of the agricultural community to provide prompt relief for nearly 50 million Americans who face the prospect of hunger each day.

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