The bite suggests a 16 percent increase in children’s nutrition costs

The bite suggests a 16 percent increase in children’s nutrition costs

The Biden administration’s proposal to expand a school-age summer food program and to encourage schools in high-poverty areas to offer meals for free to all students would, on average, add $ 4 billion a year to the cost of USDA child nutrition programs. The headline of school lunch is estimated that child nutrition programs will cost $ 25.2 billion this fiscal year, so the Biden package would be a 16 percent increase, according to budget data.

Expanding the Summer EBT program would cost $ 17.3 billion, and greater participation in the Community eligibility provision would cost $ 25.8 billion for a total of $ 44.1 billion over a decade, the USDA budget book said. It was one of the first times a price tag has been attached to the initiatives.

Hunger numbers have improved since the worst of the pandemic, but food problems remain above pre-pandemic levels in households with children, he said. Zoe Neuberger of the think tank Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. “Let’s get these and other important provisions in the president’s budget passed to help ensure that low-income children get enough nutritious food every day of the year,” she said on social media following the release of Biden’s budget package on Friday.

Because the pandemic disrupted classroom teaching, the USDA has allowed schools to serve meals for free to all students through the academic year 2021-22, and it will provide so-called P-EBT assistance to low-income families of school-age children during the summer. Democratic lawmakers last week filed bills from the House and Senate to make EBT benefits available to low-income children when schools are closed, including winter or for distance learning.

Enrollment in the leading U.S. anti-hunger program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was predicted for 45.4 million people during fiscal year 2022, the highest average since 45.8 million in 2015. Participation was predicted at 43.9 million in year. That was 35.7 million in the fiscal year 2019, before the pandemic.

“SNAP will continue to respond to economic needs,” the USDA said, noting that participation typically rises after the peak of an economic crisis. “While participation is expected to increase, the total cost of the program is expected to decrease” with the end of emergency aid, such as the temporary increase of 15 percent in benefits. The average benefit is expected to be $ 164 per person per month in fiscal year 2022, down $ 23 this year.

The administration emphasized the expansion of children’s nutrition programs in hopes of converting stop-age measures such as summer time P-EBT into permanent changes. The last review of child nutrition was in 2010. Legislators hope to update the programs later this year or in 2022 despite repeated stalemates in recent years.

“School meals are one of the most powerful tools for promoting health and ensuring nutritional safety among children, which is why the President’s plan will extend free meals in high-poverty schools with a special focus on elementary schools, so children start on the right path from an early age,” the USDA said. when he discussed the proposed extension of the Community eligibility clause.

Similarly, the proposed extension of the Summer EBT program would help low-income parents buy groceries for their school-age children, would reduce food insecurity when school is not running, the USDA said. Less than 1 in 5 eligible children – those who qualify for free or reduced school fees – receive meals through existing summer meal programs.

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