13th District Congressman Rodney Davis joined Illinois Democrat colleague Bobby Rush and others in introducing a new meals on wheels program for kids this past week. The Meals on Wheels for Kids Act establishes a pilot grant program to deliver healthy meals to children in rural and difficult-to-reach areas who often rely on nutritious school-provided meals during the school year, but given their geographic location, are unable to get to summer meal sites while they’re not in school.
Davis said that 6 of the counties that he currently represents does not have a summer meal site for students and this would ensure that they would be able to have access to meals. The bill authorizes $5 million over 3 years through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide states with grant funding, to be matched by states, to create and carry out a meal delivery program. States would be required to submit plans identifying the service institutions they would partner with, and those institutions would be required to provide children with at least 5 delivered meals per week, including over extended breaks. Specifically, the bill also calls for a study on the impact of such grants on the reduction of hunger and access to meals for children that live in these rural or hard-to-reach areas and low-income areas during summer months.
The bill now heads to committee before its first reading on the House floor.