77th Annual Meeting

IMPROVING ACCESS, MEAL QUALITY, AND NUTRITION THROUGH THE REAUTHORIZATION OF THE CHILD NUTRITION ACT (2)

WHEREAS, Mayor's are committed to the health and well being of the nation's children through the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act; and

WHEREAS, the Child Nutrition programs are the first line of defense to combat childhood hunger, promote healthy eating,provide healthy, nutritious food for the nation's children through the following programs: National School Lunch Program(NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, Afterschool Snack and Meal Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Summer Food Service Program (SFSP),Special Milk Program; and

WHEREAS, millions of children depend on these programs including 32 million children who eat school lunch and 11.2 million who eat school breakfast daily, 8.2 million mothers and children who receive food and nutrition education through WIC, and 2.1 million children who eat summer meals;and

WHEREAS, the most recent USDA data showed that childhood hunger is rising at alarming rates and that 12.6 million children li vein households facing a constant struggle against hunger; and

WHEREAS, data shows that participation in the National School Lunch Program is increasing across the United States; and

WHEREAS, there is a strong connection between the nation'agricultural production and Child Nutrition programs and the Child Nutrition Reauthorization provides an opportunity to improve these connections while increasing the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables served to children; and

WHEREAS, Child Nutrition programs are an extraordinarily successful, cost effective way to help children, especially those in low income families achieve access to quality nutrition, child care, educational and enrichment activities,while improving their overall health, development and school achievement; and in addition, the adult component of the CACFP provides needed nutrition assistance to elderly and impaired adults; the federal support for these programs has not kept pace with children's need for these programs, food and transportation cost inflation, the costs of delivering services, and current scientific knowledge about healthy eating; and

WHEREAS, the cost of living varies widely throughout the country, and standardized federal reimbursement rates have significantly less buying power in areas with high costs of living and federal poverty definitions do not properly measure families' need and therefore deny access to many needy families; and

WHEREAS, excessive rules, regulations and paperwork burdens make administering these programs costly and time consuming;and reducing these requirements while ensuring program integrity can streamline program operations and save money better spent on improve dd nutrition; and

WHEREAS, a well-conceived, adequately funded reauthorization bill can reduce hunger and food insecurity in America,help reduce childhood overweight and obesity, improve child nutrition and health, and enhance child development and school readiness;and

WHEREAS, Congress has a unique opportunity in the upcoming reauthorization of the CNR to improve access, meal quality, and nutrition for millions of children, particularly low income children; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to make a substantial investment of funding in and simplification of program regulations for Child Nutrition Programs during the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to significantly increase all reimbursement rates, and provide additional funding and adjust eligibility based on the local cost of living, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to protect current WIC income eligibility standards,including allowing adjunctive eligibility to the current state Medicaid level; and give states the option to recertify children for one year, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to lower requirements for area eligibility in the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program to serve more low income children; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to reinstate the Food Service Equipment Assistance Program to support schools in preparing and serving more fresh food, and support children's connection with agriculture,nutrition and the environment by reducing barriers and providing incentives and funding for school gardens, farm to school,farmers markets and salad bar programs.