New bill proposes changes to child nutrition programs

New bill proposes changes to child nutrition programs
Latasha Sloan
Latasha Sloan
Eliza McCall
Eliza McCall

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - A new bill introduced in the Senate aims to provide more flexibility to summer meals programs.

The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015 would allow programs access to more locations to provide meals.

This is the start of the current Child Nutrition legislation package's re-authorization.

The current legislation ensures school breakfast and lunches, summer and after school meal programs. However, it expires September 30th.

Eliza McCall with Second Harvest Food Bank says the proposed bill is a good start. It would help reach children who can't get to the current meal sites.

"It has the potential to do tremendous good in this community in allowing us to meet the needs of the children who need it most," explains McCall.

While the bill is a good first step McCall urges that there is still a long way to go. As it stands it only covers summer meal programs, not school meals or after school nutrition.

With Georgia 4th in the nation for child hunger and Dougherty County as one of the leaders in the state for child hunger, McCall says these programs are crucial.

Latasha Sloan works for Kids Cafe, which provides meals to students after school, and says these programs are vital to South Georgia.She even had to use them at one point.

"It helped my kids... with me working so many hours trying to make ends meet my kids didn't have a choice but to go to the after school programs," explains Sloan.

She says if legislation isn't passed and after school meals disappear the results would be devastating.

McCall say stories like Sloan's show just how important their programs are.

"It's tremendous because it just validates the fact that what we are doing helps and what we are doing works," McCall says.

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