December 2, 2010

December 2, 2010

Congressman Davis said:

“As we close this year, I wish to voice my support for the advancements we made to the Child Nutrition Act.  S. 3307, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, will do much to reduce child hunger and obesity. 

“Poverty is a stark reality for far too many people in America.  In my Congressional District, the poverty rate based on 2008 Census data was 22.6% - well above the national average. The child poverty rate in 2008 for my District was 34.1%, almost double the national average.  There are three primary child nutrition programs that this bill improves:  the National School Lunch Program; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program; and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.  In Illinois, there are over one million children who benefit from the school lunch program, 300,000 who benefit from WIC, and 124,000 who benefit from the Child Care Food program.  These children will benefit from our improvements to the Child Nutrition Act, whether they attend child care or school. Further, the state of Illinois will receive approximately $11 million more dollars per year to help provide food for these children in need.

“In addition to increasing federal reimbursements, I am proud that this bill will improve the nutritional quality of children’s meals and reduce the availability of high-calorie junk food on school grounds.  These steps will help tremendously to promote health and reduce obesity.  I am very happy that this bill expands the after-school supper program, which is estimated to provide an addition al 21 million meals to low-income children.

“Nevertheless, I am disappointed in the reduction in funding for poor families in need of federal aid to purchase food.  Children and families who receive food assistance are some of our most vulnerable citizens.  In 2009, 1.46 million Illinoisans in 677,000 households received food stamps with an average per month of about $136 for a total benefit value issued of $2.3 billion.  Even if the impact is a few years away, I am disappointed that my vote to provide much-needed improvements in our child nutrition laws occurs by reducing future benefits to the poor.  I vow to work actively with my colleagues to restore these cuts.”