Correspondent of the Day, June 22, 2021: Child feeding program needs to be re-approved |  Letters

Child feeding program must be re-approved

With local schools ending virtual and in-person tuition for the year, free meal programs for children throughout the Richmond area will continue during the summer. I’ve built my career around feeding my community so it’s personal to me. I am grateful for the many nutrition experts who help keep children in touch with nutritious food during the summer vacation.

For teens 1 to 8 years old who might be hungry in Virginia, summer is usually the hungriest time of the year. But this summer could be a different story. New services and temporary exemptions help schools and organizations to reach even more students with the food they need.

For example, they enable parents to collect meals for the week or organizations to safely leave meals at a child’s home. This flexibility helped summer restaurants improve their programs, serving nearly 3 million meals over the past year.

However, these measures are only temporary. We need Congress to keep updating and modernizing the summer meal programs through a process called re-authorization of child nutrition.

During the pandemic, I was proud to partner with the city to help restaurants innovate and connect with customers. Our school nutrition programs should be given an equal opportunity to innovate.