Assemblywoman PAMELA R. LAMPITT
District 6 (Burlington and Camden)
Assemblyman JAMEL C. HOLLEY
District 20 (Union)
Assemblywoman GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA
District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblyman Wisniewski and Assemblywoman Muoio
Urges USDA to lower eligibility threshold for federal nutrition programs.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Assembly Resolution urging the United States Department of Agriculture to better serve children and increase funding available for school nutrition programs by lowering the eligibility threshold for federal nutrition programs.
Whereas, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service administers several programs that provide healthy food to children including the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, the Special Milk Program, and the Summer Food Service Program; and
Whereas, Administered by state agencies, each of these programs helps fight hunger and obesity by reimbursing organizations such as schools, child care centers, and afterschool programs for providing healthy meals to children; and
Whereas, It is estimated that 17.9 million households in the United States are food insecure, meaning they have difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all of their members due to lack of resources; and
Whereas, Additionally, 6.8 million households in the United States have very low food security, meaning food intake of some household members is reduced and normal eating patterns are disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources; and
Whereas, In New Jersey 1.15 million residents, including 375,000 children, are food insecure; and
Whereas, Food insecurity is particularly devastating to children because proper nutrition is vital to a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement, and future economic prosperity; and
Whereas, The USDA Food and Nutrition Service programs can make all the difference to children, many of whom depend on these programs for their basic nutritional needs; and
Whereas, These federal nutrition programs can be offered in areas where more than 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced price school meals; and
Whereas, Lowering the percentage in the definition to 40 percent would make thousands more children eligible to receive the nutritional assistance these programs provide; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. This House respectfully urges the United States Department of Agriculture to increase the funding for, and availability of, school nutrition programs to children throughout the State by lowering the eligibility threshold for federal nutrition programs from 50 percent to 40 percent of children in an area being eligible to receive free or reduced price school meals.
2. Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the United States Secretary of Education, the Secretary of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, and every member of Congress elected from the State of New Jersey.
This resolution respectfully urges the United States Department of Agriculture to increase the funding for, and availability of, school nutrition programs to children throughout the State by lowering the eligibility threshold for federal nutrition programs from 50 percent to 40 percent of children in an area being eligible to receive free or reduced price school meals.