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Sign Your Agency Onto the Child Nutrition Statement of Principles

03:13 PM Feb 19, 2009

ACTION! Join JCPA in signing your agency onto the "Child Nutrition Reauthorization" Statement of Principles by clicking here. Circulate the statement to your grassroots coalition partners and urge them to sign-on as well. Reach out to stakeholders such as anti-hunger, religious, education, medical, nutrition, direct service, school food, pre-school and child care, unions, after school, industry, agriculture organizations to build a broad-based advocacy effort in your community, city or state.

Background: In preparation for the reauthorization of the child nutrition and WIC programs in 2009, thousands of national, state and local organizations will join in support of a "Statement of Principles" to guide our reauthorization efforts. This statement will be presented to members of Congress, Administration officials, and other relevant policymakers to demonstrate the broad support to expand, strengthen and provide much-needed investments in these critical programs.

Jewish scriptures teach us that we have a moral responsibility to feed the hungry; science tells us that access to adequate and nutritious food is necessary for all people to reach their God-given potential. While hunger is a problem that affects people of all ages, it is particularly devastating for the more than 12 million children in its grasp. Childhood hunger and malnutrition impair proper physical development, generate behavioral issues like aggression and absenteeism, and cause emotional problems like anxiety and depression. Often overlooked are the effects of hunger on cognitive development, including decreased attention and lower test scores. The consequences of child hunger are broad and long-lasting and ultimately limit educational achievement and workforce productivity. Thus, there is both a moral and an economic imperative to address this problem.

Child nutrition programs safeguard the well-being of America's children by reducing hunger and increasing access to high-quality, nutritious foods. Programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), school breakfast and lunch programs, and preschool, summer and afterschool meal programs are vital in providing children the food they need for healthy development. Unfortunately, these programs do not reach all children in need of food and quality nutrition. This reauthorization is our opportunity to make sure these already successful programs are available to even more children!

The timing is critical. President Obama will be releasing his top-line budget request on February 24th, outlining his policy priorities and funding recommendations for FY2010. His more specific budget proposal will be released in late March, and Congress will begin crafting its Budget Resolution in April. Without new investments in these programs in the federal budget resolution, it will be very difficult to make much-needed improvements in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. This document makes the case for these investments and shows the broad-based support in every single state.

We have the tools to end child hunger in America. Our failure to do so up to this point stems only from a lack of political will. Fortunately, President Obama has set a goal to eliminate child hunger by 2015. Child nutrition programs are the fastest, most direct way to reduce child hunger, and a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization in 2009 is the critical first step toward achieving the 2015 goal.

ACTION! Join JCPA in signing your agency onto the "Child Nutrition Reauthorization" Statement of Principles by going to: http://frac.org/Legislative/action_center/statement_principles.htm. Circulate the statement to your grassroots coalition partners and urge them to sign-on as well.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Melissa Boteach at mboteach@thejcpa.org.

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