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An estimated 19 million children lose access to nutritious meals when school lets out for the summer
 
Bill would offer support to families to provide meals that children would have otherwise received at school
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) reintroduced the Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2015, which would provide food assistance to low-income children during the summer by providing their families with a debit card (or EBT) to use at grocery stores. Every year, millions of children who qualify for free and reduced priced meals at school go hungry during summer break because of reduced access to assistance. Sen. Murray’s bill is a common sense way to eliminate that hurdle.

 

“Almost a quarter of the children in our country are food insecure, and on any given day, they can go without a meal. They go to bed hungry – and as a mother and grandmother, that’s unacceptable,” said Senator Murray. “I’m as committed as ever to fighting poverty and hunger in America – and a big part of that is the bill I am reintroducing today, the Stop Child Summer Hunger Act. We must continue to fight for children by removing unnecessary barriers and helping them get the nutrition they need to grow, learn, and thrive.”

 

This legislation is modeled after the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) for Children demonstration pilot project now underway at 14 sites in 10 states and Indian Tribal Organizations. This pilot has decreased hunger among children by about 33 percent

 

While many areas of the country see great success with the existing federal Summer Food Service Program, many barriers to participation in the program remain, especially in rural areas. Those barriers include unfamiliarity with the program or sites, lack of transportation, and limited food distribution hours – a problem that the EBT card seeks to fix.