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What #StopTheBlock Would Really Stop

Providing healthy meals to kids in need shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but today on Capitol Hill, critics of the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act (H.R. 5003) are using political theatrics to make it one. Many of these same groups have used doomsday scenarios and scare tactics to bash the bill for weeks—even before it was introduced.

The reason for today’s attack? A voluntary pilot program that would only affect up to three states. That’s right—three states. What the opposition’s one-sided narrative fails to mention about this limited program is that it is designed to spur innovation and allow local education and nutrition leaders to explore more effective ways to provide assistance to children and families in need.

This program is just one in a long list of measures in the bill that will improve nutrition assistance for kids, families, and taxpayers—measures its critics have also neglected to mention. So, in reality, those working to #StopTheBlock are also working to kill reforms that will:

 

  • Make it easier for kids in rural and low-income areas to access healthy meals in the summer.

  • Ensure nutrition standards reflect the insights of school leaders and nutrition professionals and meet the needs of all students.

  • Provide a greater reimbursement for schools serving a nutritious breakfast.

  • Increase accountability and transparency in child nutrition to rein in waste and abuse.

  • Better target assistance to those most in need.

  • Strengthen the integrity and efficiency of the WIC program.

  • Support nutrition education across programs and help families engage in the healthy development of their children.

  • Deliver states and schools the flexibility they need to better serve their students.

 
These are the reforms at stake if short-sighted critics get their way and #StopTheBlock. They are commonsense solutions that will improve assistance for children and families at no cost to taxpayers. Republicans know there is A Better Way to help those in need and give all Americans a chance to achieve success. It’s a shame those who prefer to preserve the failed status quo just don’t see it.

 
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