Today, the House passed the Keep Kids Fed Act, bipartisan legislation that will provide temporary and targeted relief for school meal programs as schools struggle with inflation and supply chain issues. Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) spoke on the House floor in support of the bill and the need to rein in our nation’s school meal programs:
“Evidence is clear that students are able to focus more at school if they are receiving adequate nutrition. Too many students are still suffering from the harmful effects of school closures, and we cannot afford to let students fall further behind.
“The rise in food prices is putting most Americans in a tight spot. The same is true for schools. The bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act will empower schools to meet the crises our country is facing—from supply chain problems to record high inflation.
“It is however extremely important to emphasize that the support provided in this legislation is both targeted and temporary, as all aid should be.
“We also worked hard to ensure that this legislation was budget-neutral so that it does not put additional burden on taxpayers.
“Importantly this legislation will return our nation’s school meal programs to regular order. This is the primary reason I support this legislation. For over two years Democrats used a permanent pandemic narrative to increase federal spending across the board, including within school meal programs. This has fueled inflation.
“This is not only irresponsible but ignores the narrow limits Congress purposefully placed on these programs. Congress never intended to provide universal free breakfasts and lunches to all K-12 students regardless of need. By returning these programs back to normal, we can uphold our responsibility to taxpayers and the principle that aid should be targeted and temporary.
“The Keep Kids Fed Act offers a viable solution to the problems facing school meal programs while also re-focusing these programs on their purpose—helping students in need.”