The SMART (Summer Meals Alternative Relief and Transportation) Act has been introduced in Congress by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and John Cornyn, R-Texas. Its enactment would ensure that children, no matter where they live, have access to the nutrition they desperately need over the summer.
I wholeheartedly applaud Sen. Booker for his leadership in championing solutions for child hunger, which the pandemic has hugely exacerbated. Through my job at Save the Children — where we work tirelessly to end child hunger — I know the significant impact this legislation would have.
Being a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in public health, I know the vital role nutrition plays in children’s growth, development and ultimate success in life. It saddens me to know that only about 14% of children who receive free or reduced-price school meals actually receive meals during the summer, largely due to a lack of transportation to meal sites.
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