Save the Children Applauds Introduction of the SMART Act

This bipartisan legislation – endorsed by Save the Children – is an important step in combatting child hunger across America

Washington, D.C. (May 12, 2021) – Save the Children is pleased to endorse the bipartisan Summer Meals Alternative Relief and Transportation (SMART) Act being introduced in Congress today by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). The SMART Act would ensure children in rural communities and other hard-to-reach areas have access to nutritious meals during the summer months when school meals are not accessible. Currently, at the end of the school year, only 14 percent of eligible low-income children receive meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), often because they cannot access meal distribution sites due to distance or lack of transportation. The SMART Act would work to address this by establishing an alternate food distribution service option, direct home delivery.

“Save the Children works tirelessly to end child hunger, and to get food that ‘last mile’ to children and families living in rural, hard-to-reach communities. Direct home delivery of nutritious meals, in conjunction with other programs, will help end child hunger for all,” said Cassidy Pont, Manager of Federal Government Relations at Save the Children. “That’s why we applaud Senators Cornyn and Booker for introducing this innovative legislation, and are so thrilled to endorse this bill and advocate for its passage. Children and families, no matter where they live, should have equitable access to nutrition programs during the summer."

In 2020 alone, Save the Children supported the distribution of nearly 21 million meals across rural America, and provided funding to directly support expansion of summer feeding efforts in some of the country’s most remote communities. In addition to providing immediate access to meals, Save the Children is strengthening child nutrition programs to meet rural needs, and developing new solutions to address rural child hunger.

Now, Save the Children’s political advocacy arm, Save the Children Action Network will mobilize its 375,000 advocates nationwide in support of the SMART Act to ensure even more children in rural America have access to the critical nutrition needed to grow, develop and thrive.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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