From the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC):
Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) recently introduced S. 990, the “Afterschool Flexibility to Expand Reimbursement for School Meals Act of 2009″ (also known as the “AFTERSchool Meals Act of 2009″ at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-990). This bill authorizes a nationwide expansion of the Afterschool Meal Program, allowing children from all states to benefit from a nutritious meal after school. Under current law, only ten states can operate this program. Afterschool programs are vitally important as parents work longer, non-traditional hours, and many more children require afterschool care. This bill would dramatically expand access and improve the lives of millions of low-income children.
Contact Senators Casey and Specter today. Ask them to co-sponsor S. 990, the AFTERSchool Meals Act of 2009. You can call them via the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) or see their direct contact information below.
Next Steps: Invite Senators over the Memorial Day, July 4 and summer recesses to visit program sites (a summer or afterschool program) to see firsthand the positive impact these programs have on low-income children in your community. Click here for FRAC’s guide to the perfect site visit.
Background Information: Currently, the Afterschool Meal Program (operated only through CACFP), provides USDA reimbursements for meals served to children age 18 and under who participate in afterschool programs located in low-income areas in only ten states (all other states receive funding for afterschool snacks, but not meals, for children over age 13.) The program authorized in 2000 initially included six states (DE, MI, MO, NY, OR, and PA). Through the appropriations process, four additional states have been authorized to operate the program: IL in FY 2002; WV in FY 2008; and MD and VT in FY 2009. Nationwide expansion was proposed in the House-passed version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but not included in the final conference package. Other cosponsors of S. 990 include Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Carl Levin (D-MI).
NOTE: “Snail mail” letters should be sent to a Pennsylvania office because security procedures delay mail to the Washington offices.
(202) 224-6324; Fax (202) 228-0604
http://casey.senate.gov/ (to find offices in Pennsylvania)
(202) 224-4254; Fax (202) 228-1229
http://specter.senate.gov/ (to find offices in Pennsylvania)