There was a slight delay in Congress’ work on the Build Back Better legislation these past couple weeks because Congress had to pass a continuing resolution that would continue funding the federal government at current spending levels through February 18. The continuing resolution passed and was signed by President Biden last week so work can again resume on the Build Back Better Act.
Prior to the break in work, the House of Representatives passed a version of the Build Back Better bill and sent it to the Senate for review and a vote. This next week, the Senate plans to resume its work on the Build Back Better bill with the hopes of final passage before their Christmas break.
Since the beginning of this bill, food security advocates have been advocating for a number of provisions to be included that will significantly reduce food insecurity, especially with children, across the country. Many of those priorities were included in the bill that was passed by the House of Representatives and in the next week advocates will continue to press the Senate to keep these important provisions in their version as well. The provisions advocates are fighting for include:
- Expanding the number of schools that would be able to offer free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision;
- Giving states the option to implement the Community Eligibility Provision statewide;
- Providing $30 million for school kitchen equipment;
- Providing $250 million for a Healthy School Meal Incentives demonstration project;
- Extending the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program nationwide for students who receive free or reduced-price school meals; and
- Allowing states, as well as Indian Tribal Organizations, that participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to provide Summer EBT.
If these provisions are included in the final bill, it would mean $10 billion in investments made to decreasing food insecurity in this country, which will go a long way toward ensuring our children are able to access enough of the nutritious food that their bodies need to grow and thrive.
Empower Missouri’s Food Security Coalition is asking each of you to reach out to Senators Blunt and Hawley and encourage them to keep the nutrition program investments in their version of the bill. Contact information for our Senators are below:
Sen. Roy Blunt’s D.C. Office: (202) 224-5721
Sen. Josh Hawley’s D.C. Office: (202) 224-6154
Food Security Policy Manager