Letters to the Editor

Alan Briggs: What Congress needs to do on child hunger

The Dec. 21 news story “Holiday breaks can mean hungry students in Wake” reminded us of the sad truth that so many of our children depend on schools and nonprofit charities to obtain meals on a daily basis. School breaks, weather closings and summer vacation leave thousands of students without adequate food.

The U.S. Senate is working on legislation to renew the Children Nutrition programs that include school breakfast and lunch programs, but also control after- and summer-school feeding programs for organizations like our food banks and other hunger charities.

We need the reauthorization bill to streamline regulations and offer us independent businesses flexibility to do our job better. Significant improvements would eliminate duplicate reporting, loosening restrictions on where and how we feed children, giving additional benefit cards to children over the summer and school breaks and opening up schools and public buildings to local feeding programs when school is out and offer alternative program models so that communities can provide options when a program site is not available.

Let’s push Congress to make needed these improvements to help communities better ensure that no child goes hungry regardless of the season.

Alan Briggs

Executive director, N.C. Association of Food Banks