Faith Leaders Letter: Child Nutrition Reauthorization

August 2, 2010

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable John Boehner
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senators Reid and McConnell and Representatives Pelosi and Boehner:

As longtime partners in the fight against child hunger, the faith community is writing to urge you to bring the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill to the floor.

Our grassroots networks and grasstops leaders have eagerly embraced the President’s goal of ending child hunger by 2015, and we have turned that excitement into action around Child Nutrition Reauthorization. We have educated our churches, temples, synagogues and mosques; we have placed op-eds; we have met with members of Congress, USDA and the White House; and we have generated thousands of calls, letters, postcards and emails.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization provides an opportunity to strengthen the nutrition programs critical to the well-being of our nation’s children, particularly the one in four children at risk of hunger. Child nutrition programs offer the healthiest and most nourishing meals that many children receive each day. For some children, they provide their only meals.

The collective faith community believes this issue is vital. Child hunger was a blight on our country even before the current recession, but this issue is especially critical now at a time of increased hardship. We have a moral obligation to care for those most in need -- in this case, hungry children.

Both the Senate and House have passed child nutrition legislation in committee, but we are deeply concern about the limited days remaining to complete the reauthorization before the bill expires September 30. The House must identify $8 billion in offsets, and both bills face a crowded legislative calendar. Much work remains to shepherd the strongest possible child nutrition bill into law.

We face a critical moment. Congress is poised to make significant progress against child hunger, but your leadership is needed to ensure that a strong child nutrition bill is completed this year. On behalf of our nation’s most vulnerable children, please work with the committees to provide the funding offsets and floor time needed to complete a robust Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The health and future of America’s children depend on it.


Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies
Bread for the World
Church of the Brethren
Church Women United
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Hindu American Foundation
ICNA Council for Social Justice
ICNA Relief
Islamic Society of North America
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
The Jewish Federations of North America
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Jewish Women International
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Mennonite Central Committee, Washington Office
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Council of Churches of Christ, USA
National Council of Jewish Women
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness
Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society

Cc: Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln
Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss
House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller
House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member John Kline