Call to Action: Tell Congress to Extend Critical School Nutrition Funding

July 12, 2023

Today, as part of the 2023 Legislative Advocacy Conference, superintendents from across the country are meeting with their members of Congress to discuss issues important to public education. Join us from home and tell your members of Congress to extend the additional school meal reimbursements provided by the Keep Kids Fed Act for school year 2023-24. It is critical that Congress hears directly from district leaders to understand how this will affect their communities back home.

As background: Under the bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act, Congress raised the SY2022-23 federal school meal reimbursement rates by 40 cents per lunch and 15 cents per breakfast. These additional funds, which expired on June 30, were a lifeline for schools struggling with persistently high food, supply and labor costs. Congress must extend the additional reimbursements for next school year to ensure schools can maintain high quality meals for students and prevent meal program losses from cutting into limited education funds.

The AASA Advocacy Team has created this step-by-step guide to make advocacy easy for you:

Step One: Use this cost calculator from the School Nutrition Association to determine how much funding your district will lose if the additional reimbursements are not extended.

Step Two: Download this draft email and customize the message with your contact information, the numbers from the cost calculator, and what your district will have to do to cover the loss of funding (i.e. cut services, increase paid lunch prices, etc.). Feel free to add any additional information about your district you would like.

Step Three: If you do not know what members of Congress present your school district, find out here.

Step Four: Go to the AASA Advocacy App to find the email address of the education staffer in your member’s office. (Menu > Congressional Outreach > Search Member’s Name). If you have any issues finding the correct staffer contact, please contact Tara Thomas at tthomas@aasa.org

Step Five: You can send the email directly through the AASA Advocacy App or through your preferred method.

Other options: You can also call the offices and share your concerns or engage on social media. The social media handles for members can be found on their website.

Thank you for your advocacy on this issue! 

Author

Tara Thomas
Tara Thomas

Policy Analyst, AASA, The School Superintendents Association