President Barack Obama aims to ask Congress for $12 billion over a decade to help feed schoolchildren from low-income families during the summer, the White House said yesterday.
The request will be in the 2017 budget proposal Obama aims to send lawmakers on Feb. 9.
Almost 22 million low-income children receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year, however just a fraction of those kids receive meals when school is out. The disparity puts those children at higher risk of hunger and poor nutrition during the summer months when school is out of session, the White House said.
A child nutrition bill the Senate approved last week would put more money into summer feeding programs as well.
The Agriculture Department on Wednesday was announcing a pilot program to increase access to the National School Lunch program through reducing the paperwork their parents must file in order to participate. Under the demonstration program, states will be allowed to use Medicaid data to certify students for free and reduced-price lunches.
States must apply to participate. The department wishes to approve five states to participate during the 2016-2017 school year, expanding to 20 states over the next three years.
Further, both proposals were unveiled as the White House sponsored a forum Wednesday on child hunger in the U.S.