Keep Kids Fed in U.S. Schools
390 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal
Sponsor: The Literacy Site
Our children should not be going without vital nutrition while they are in school. Take action!
Meal programs in public schools are becoming more expensive because of inflation, supply chain issues and rising labor costs. And the federal funding that paid for universal free school meals during the pandemic has ended, which means schools are passing the bills on to parents1.
Many families that don't qualify for free and reduced meals for their children are struggling to afford to pay the full price for those meals. The program cost is usually based on parents' gross income and family size, but does not account for medical bills or the cost of living or the increasing cost of groceries2.
The USDA estimates food prices are about 10% higher than just a year ago, and will increase an additional 5% to 6% more3. To help schools continue to pay for their meals, the Keep Kids Fed Act4 increases reimbursement rates for school food purchases, but funding for this program also ends in September 20235.
Few states have support for school meal programs in place after 2023. This could lead to American families being forced into debt to pay for school meals, and children going hungry during their formative years6.
A staggering 1 in 8 kids in the United States faces hunger, which impacts their ability to focus and learn in school7. Poor nutrition makes children more likely to face health conditions like anemia and asthma, and leads to problems in other social situations8.
Without the continued support of the Keep Kids Fed Act, many more children will go hungry and miss their chance for a brighter future.
We must ensure that all schoolchildren get the nutrition they need to learn and thrive.
Sign the petition and tell Congress to extend the Keep Kids Fed Act!
- Elizabeth Shockman, MPR News (17 November 2022), "'They just start crying': Student food insecurity and debt rising across Minnesota."
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (18 March 2021), "How do children qualify for free and reduced price school meals?."
- Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (25 October 2022), "Food Price Outlook, 2022 and 2023."
- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, 117th Congress (16 June 2021, "S.2089 - Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022."
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (30 June 2022), "Biden Administration Takes Additional Steps to Strengthen Child Nutrition Programs."
- Wilfred Chan, The Guardian (4 June 2022), "Free US school lunches were a dream come true. Now, a hunger crisis looms for 10 million children."
- Feeding America (2022), "Facts about child hunger in America."
- National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (8 September 2022), "Poor Nutrition."
To the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and Department of Agriculture,
Meal programs in public schools are becoming more expensive because of inflation, supply chain issues and rising labor costs. And the federal funding that paid for universal free school meals during the pandemic has ended, which means schools are passing the bills on to parents
The Keep Kids Fed Act helps parents cover the costs of school meals but funding for the program will end in September 2023, leaving many families facing debt, and children going without food.
A staggering 1 in 8 kids in the United States faces hunger, which impacts their ability to focus and learn in school. This rate will surely increase without the continued support of the Keep Kids Fed Act.
I implore you to extend the Keep Kids Fed Act indefinitely,