Titus Introduces the Helping Hungry Students Learn Act

Mar 13, 2014
Press Release
365 day approach to addressing childhood hunger

March 13, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada’s First District introduced the Helping Hungry Students Learn Act.  This legislation is a 365 day approach to addressing childhood hunger on school days, during the summer, and on weekends.
“Almost 16 million American children are at risk of going hungry every day, including more than 180,000 children in Nevada,” said Congresswoman Titus. “That is why I am introducing the Helping Hungry Students Learn Act.  This legislation is an investment in our children and their futures. A child with access to quality nutrition and a full tummy is more likely to be ready to learn and thrive academically. As the wealthiest nation in the world, we can and should be doing more to give our students the tools they need to be successful.”
Children who experience chronic hunger are more likely to get sick and have trouble concentrating in school.  They tend to exhibit higher levels of behavioral, emotional, and academic problems, but federal nutrition programs can play a significant role in reversing these negative effects of hunger.  School breakfast alone has been shown to help students achieve higher math scores and increase school attendance. 
The Helping Hungry Students Learn Act would take several straightforward steps to increase participation in existing child nutrition programs.  Specifically, the bill would:
Help more students eat breakfast by instituting free breakfast for all students who want it and “alternative breakfast serving models” in high poverty schools. 
Reduce the financial strain on students and the administrative burden for schools by eliminating the “reduced-price category” for the National School Lunch Program, allowing all children who qualify for the program to receive free lunch.  
Address hunger during the summer months by providing a small increase in SNAP benefits for families with school aged children.  
Keep kids from going hungry on the weekends and during short school holidays by establishing a pilot program to help local institutions provide students with supplemental weekend meals.