Last-minute deal to continue feeding food-insecure children in New Jersey

Washington lawmakers approved a bipartisan plan to extend the federal Keep Kids Fed Act just before it expires in late June.

According to Cheri Andes, senior regional organizer for Bread for the World, the legislation is very important to many New Jersey families because “it will feed children through the summer, and it will actually extend school meals for low-income children. all the rest of the year. »

About a third of New Jersey college students qualify for a free lunch, or nearly 400,000 kids.

Hunger in New Jersey

Andes noted that many people may not realize it, but “nearly 800,000 people in New Jersey, including 200,000 children, face hunger.”

“It’s critical for families, hunger issues in the state disproportionately impact black and Latino households,” she said.

NJ school lunch kids

(Getty Stock)

Andes said children born to mothers who received adequate nutrition during pregnancy have been proven to have higher IQs than other children whose mothers did not receive enough nutritious food, and we know that “in order for children to pay attention in school, for children to stay awake, to have energy, they need to have the right nutrition to grow properly.

Federal funds are needed

She pointed out that many different organizations help feed the hungry in the Garden State, but “most of these programs are federally funded, and most of them needed this bill to pass.” .

The measure now goes to President Biden’s office for his signature.

Bread for the World is a nonpartisan Christian advocacy organization that advocates for a variety of different policy changes in the United States and around the world to end hunger.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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