Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Susan Davis successfully extended free school meals to military children with the passage of an amendment to the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act (H.R. 5504).
The Davis Amendment will authorize schools to directly certify military students with a parent or guardian receiving Family Supplemental Subsistence Allowance payments for free school meals. The Secretaries of Agriculture, Defense, and Education will collaborate to create a streamlined process to easily certify military children. It also requires a study on how to improve school lunches for all military children throughout the nation.
“Nutrition is so important for the success of our children in their academic careers,” said Davis, Chairwoman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee. “This will put our military children on equal footing with other families who don’t face the burden of filling out paperwork to enter the program. Helping military families with school meals is the least we can do for the sacrifices they make on our behalf.”
Davis’s amendment was unanimously approved by the House Education and Labor Committee during consideration of the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act.
Overall, the bill would:
- Increase the number of eligible children enrolled in the school lunch programs by directly certifying children into the free and reduced school lunch program without applications. School districts will receive 100 percent reimbursement for every student in a school without the paperwork and administrative costs they face now. In Davis’s 53rd Congressional District, an estimated 67 schools could benefit from this change in the law.
- Ensure school meals are safe for all students by extending food safety requirements to all areas in which school food is stored, prepared, and served.
- Enhance funding for nutrition education in schools to support healthy eating and school wellness
The House Education and Labor Committee approved the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act to be sent to the full House of Representatives for consideration.