East County News Service
January 29, 2016 (San Diego) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) and Senator Patty Murray praised President Obama’s proposal to reduce child summer hunger by making permanent the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) program nationwide.
During the school year, low-income children have the opportunity to receive free or reduced-price meals at school. However, millions of these same children go hungry during summer break. The President’s budget will address this summer meals gap by investing $12 billion to scale up the successful Summer EBT demonstration project that has decreased hunger among participating children by about 33 percent while increasing healthy food intake.
Davis and Senator Murray welcomed the President’s support for a nationwide Summer EBT program.
“No child should go hungry and no parent should have to worry about being able to feed their child,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “I applaud the President’s proposal to increase funding for Summer EBT. It is a proven and simple solution to filling the meal gap that millions of children face every summer. Expanding this program will be good for our kids, good for education and good for the economy.”
“I am committed to fighting for children to get the nutrition they need to grow, learn, and thrive, so I am glad to see the President show such strong support for this program,” Senator Murray said. “Each summer, millions of children lose access to nutritious meals when school lets out – and our country cannot turn its back on them.”
Last year, Davis and Murray introduced legislation to permanently extend the Summer EBT program. Like the President’s proposal, the Stop Child Summer Hunger Act will provide families who have children eligible for free- and reduced-price school meals with an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. This card will include funds that the family can use to purchase food to replace meals that the children would otherwise be receiving at school. Providing benefits through an EBT card ensures that transportation or work schedule challenges, weather, or child or parent illness are not barriers to a child receiving vital nutrition.