Press Releases

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Arkansas anti-hunger leaders at the Little Rock Children’s Library and Arkansas Children’s Hospital Summer Food Service Program sites to learn how summer meal services can be improved for students.
 
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched its Summer Food Service Program to fill in the gap and reduce child hunger during the summer months when school meals are not available.
 
“Nutrition is important to the long-term development of children. Unfortunately, for many Arkansas children who rely on the regular meals provided at school, summer may mean they don’t know when their next meal will come,” Boozman said. “The Summer Food Service Program is an important part of child nutrition reauthorization. I appreciate the opportunity to see how the Summer Food Service Program is benefiting our state’s youth and to learn ways we can improve this service. I am committed to ensuring this program continues to meet the needs of Arkansans. I look forward to crafting legislation that makes the program more efficient and provides much needed flexibility to reach the children in need.”
 
“The Arkansas No Kid Hungry Campaign was pleased to have Sen. Boozman join us at two summer meals sites today that exemplify how strong partnerships among local children’s champions can work together to help kids stay healthy, engaged and ready to learn all year long.  Both the Arkansas Dream Center and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital have solved program barriers to create sustainable, year-round meal programs serving hundreds of central Arkansas children daily.  Knowing that over 1 in 4 Arkansas children struggle with hunger, and with the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization now before Congress, it is important to show how these strong summer and afterschool meal programs are helping kids access healthy meals every day,” Patty Barker, Arkansas No Kid Hungry Campaign Director said.
 
More than 50,000 Arkansas children receive summer meals through this program. Unfortunately, 16 percent of children from low-income families live in communities that are not able to operate an open summer meals site.
 
Boozman, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee is working to address the challenges the program faces as the committee begins debate to reauthorize child nutrition programs.
 
The Senate Agriculture Committee will consider legislation to reauthorize child nutrition programs when the chamber reconvenes in September.