Senator Reverend Warnock joined Senator Martin Heinrich to introduce the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act which would permanently increase federal reimbursement levels for school meals
As a member of the Senate Agriculture committee, Senator Reverend Warnock has championed the protection of nutrition benefits in this year’s Farm Bill
Senator Reverend Warnock: “A good education is our country’s great equalizer, but Georgia students can’t learn and grow if they’re distracted by an empty stomach”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act, legislation to make it easier for students to access quality, nutritious school meals. The bill permanently increases the federal reimbursement level for school meals to help address funding challenges, enhance menus, and increase access to locally grown food.
“A good education is our country’s great equalizer, but Georgia students can’t learn and grow if they’re distracted by an empty stomach,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “The more we learn about the lasting impact of food insecurity on children, the more important it becomes for Congress to strongly support school breakfasts and lunches. I’m proud to join Senator Heinrich in this critical effort to address childhood hunger in every corner of Georgia and the country.”
Senator Reverend Warnock, who was arrested in the United States Capitol’s Russell Rotunda while protesting efforts to cut nutrition benefits in the 2018 Farm Bill, now sits on the Agriculture committee tasked with drafting the 2023 Farm Bill. A fearless advocate for all Georgians, during a February hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill Senator Warnock stressed the moral importance of centering the needs of Georgians who rely on nutrition assistance as the committee crafts the quinquennial legislation.
The Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act permanently increases the federal reimbursement level for all free, reduced-price, and paid-rate school meals by 45 cents for every lunch served and 28 cents for every breakfast served, with a yearly adjustment. School meals help shape lifelong healthy eating habits, and research shows that students who participate in school meal programs have better overall diet quality than nonparticipants. Higher food costs are adding to the urgency of this legislation, and a permanent solution will give school districts certainty as they upgrade their meal programs and plan for the future.
This legislation is cosponsored by Senators John Fetterman (D-PA) Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT.), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Peter Welch (D-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
Find a fact sheet of the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act here.
Find the text of the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act here.