Senator Murray Applauds Bill to Extend School and Summer Meal Programs for Children Being Signed into Law

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, celebrated President Biden signing the bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act into law on Saturday. The Keep Kids Fed Act, which passed the Senate unanimously, will provide critical funding and flexibility to get children healthy meals this summer and support schools and daycares through supply chain challenges and high food prices in the school year to come. This bill became law as key flexibilities for these programs were set to expire on June 30, leaving millions of kids across the country without access to healthy, nutritious meals.

“Kids can’t thrive in school or at home if they are going hungry—plain and simple,” said Senator Murray. “Thanks to this bill, countless families from Seattle to Spokane will not have to worry about where their kids will get their next meal from this summer and can breathe a little easier knowing their kids will have food to keep them healthy and strong. This is a good step, but there is a lot more that needs to be done so I’ll keep fighting to expand and improve our child nutrition programs and end child hunger in America.”

In April, Senator Murray helped introduce the bipartisan Support Kids Not Red Tape Act with Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that would extend all USDA school meal flexibilities from June 30, 2022 to September 30, 2023. These flexibilities have been crucial to feeding children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With 90% of our schools still facing many challenges as they return to normal operations, these flexibilities give our schools and summer meal programs much-needed support to deal with ongoing food service issues and keep kids fed.

Senator Murray, a former preschool teacher, has been a leading advocate for kids and families in the United States Senate, especially during the pandemic, carrying legislation to stop child hunger every Congress since 2014 with the introduction of her Stop Child Summer Hunger Act. As COVID-19 has shone a harsh light on the failures of the existing system to meet the nutritional needs of children, Senator Murray’s legislation is more vital, and closer to passing, than ever. Having relied on food stamps for a brief time during her childhood, Senator Murray knows firsthand the difference a helping hand can make in the lives children.