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Gillibrand applauds passage of Keep Kids Fed Act, aims to make it permanent

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WRVO News (file photo)

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is happy about the passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act, which supplements school-based meals for kids, and she wants to make sure the temporary legislation becomes permanent.

The legislation extended pandemic school meal waivers and other flexibilities making it easier for schools to provide free healthy food for students. It allows schools and summer meal providers to do things like extended meal delivery and grab-and-go options. But it only lasts through summer and in some cases the end of the school year. Gillibrand is sponsoring two proposals that would extend that.

"The first is the modern WIC Act," Gillibrand said. "The second is the Summer Meals Act. Both expand who gets access and expand what resources can be applied towards it. So this would continue what these waivers are doing now.”

Speaking at the Central New York Food Bank earlier this month, Gillibrand outlined how it’s up to the Ag Committee to take up the Child Nutrition Act. She said the time is now to pressure lawmakers to make sure it happens before the end of this year.

"We haven’t seen it come up yet," Gillibrand said. "It depends if our chairwoman brings it up, which I think she’s going to. And we can get a vote on it. Those two bills would be part of the Child Nutrition Act which we’re hoping to get done by the end of the year, so I don’t know, but I’m pushing.”

Gillibrand estimates that more than 1 in 6 children in Onondaga County face food insecurity.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.