US politicians propose huge investment in school food

9 September 2021
Recommendations have been made to the US Senate to invest $35billion in child nutrition programmes.

President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan aims to invest over $7 trillion in rebuilding America following COVID-19. Acknowledging that 10.5% of US households were food insecure in 2020, and that number is growing in Black households and households with children, the House Education and Labor Committee has made its proposals for investments in child nutrition – and they’re big!

The proposals sum to $35 billion, which includes seeing 9 million more children receiving free or reduced-price school meals. This will go some way to helping the near 3 million US homes with children who don’t have enough food to eat.

School kitchens will see $500 million investment to ensure they are properly equipped to provide fresh meals. $634 million will be provided in grants to support school garden projects and local procurement, amongst other activities to promote children’s health and wellbeing.

Also in the $35 billion plan is an investment in school holiday support. Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals could receive $75 per child per month in benefit to assist with purchasing nutrition food during the summer holidays.

The Committee will today begin its markup process, where amendments may be made to the bill. The bill will then go on for Senate approval before the end of the month. The proposals can be read in full here, with the child nutrition section starting on page 261.

We’re so excited by these progressive ideas and, if we all pull together and campaign successfully for a school food review, perhaps we’ll soon see some similar thinking on this side of the pond? In the words of a former US President, Yes We Can!