The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act (CNR) affects all federal child nutrition programs. Children in low-income households rely on this programming for healthy foods. It’s been nearly two years since the law that makes all federal child nutrition programs possible expired, but Congress has yet to come together to take action, leaving the future of these programs uncertain.
Last year, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee unanimously approved a bill to reauthorize the federal child nutrition program. The bill, Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, included key policy changes recommended by United Way for Southeastern Michigan and the child nutrition community in Greater Detroit. These changes would have drastically improved school breakfasts and lunches, summer lunches, child and adult-care food programs, after-school snacks and meals, and special programs designed for women, infants and children.
Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has its own idea of how these programs should work, and it doesn’t look good for kids. The House version would have made meal sites less accessible, lowered nutrition standards and be regressive to the progress we’ve made over the last ten years.
We are hopeful that the current congress will consider a bill more aligned with the senate’s 2016 approach. Stay tuned for more details. We will let you know when our lawmakers need to hear from us on this important issue!