On Monday, July 12, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer spent the afternoon visiting Summer Food Service Program sites in Charles County Maryland. The federally funded program reimburses site sponsors that provide free meals to low-income, school-aged children during the summer months when school is not in session and access to daily, nutritious meals may be unavailable. Congressman Hoyer visited two sites to highlight the importance of passing and funding the Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation that funds the Summer Food Service Program, the School Breakfast Program, the National School Lunch Program, and the At-Risk Afterschool Snack and Meal Program.
At the visits, site sponsors shared stories of the increased demand for the program due to economic hardships facing families in Maryland. Maryland Hunger Solutions and other advocates asked Congressman Hoyer to make sure Congress passes a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization that:
- Raises meal reimbursement rates so that schools, local government agencies, and private nonprofit organization are able to operate the program without losing money and can provide healthier food.
- Expands area eligibility from 50% to 40% to allow more low-income families to participate in the Summer Food Service and the At-Risk Afterschool Snack and Meal Programs.
- Reduces the administrative burden of programs for site sponsors to allow them to more easily operate programs year-round.
- Provides more out-of-school time programming in order to facilitate the availability of the school and nutrition programs for low-income families.
State-wide advocates and local partners attending the visit included the Governor’s Office for Children, Maryland State Department of Education, Charles County Local Management Board, Charles County Public Schools, Share Our Strength, and Maryland Out-of-School-Time Network.