Thanks to your advocacy, this week the White House announced an agreement for the Build Back Better Act through budget reconciliation with landmark investments in child nutrition, investments and technical assistance to rural communities and Native sovereign nations, and a transformative investment in early childhood care and education. Details on this plan are still emerging, but we need your continued support to get this legislation across the finish line in Congress.
With $10 billion in funds for child nutrition, Build Back Better would:
- Expand the number of schools that would be able to offer free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision.*
- Give states the option to implement the Community Eligibility Provision statewide, allowing all students in the state to receive school breakfast and lunch at no charge.*
- Extend Summer EBT nationwide for students who receive free or reduced-price school meals (including those who attend Community Eligibility Provision, Provision 2, or Provision 3 schools). The Act would allow states as well as Indian Tribal Organizations that participate in WIC to provide Summer EBT.
- Provide $30 million for school kitchen equipment grants.*
*Length of funding for these programs is still being determined
Additionally, the plan would provide universal free preschool education for all 3- and 4-year olds, and subsidize and expand quality child care to 20 million children per year. Finally, the new Rural Partnership Project would offer flexible funding for community-driven rural development, and higher education funding would invest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions* (MSIs).
*This is a term in U.S. federal policy to denote colleges and universities serving Black, Hispanic, Native, and Asian American or Pacific Islander communities.
Now is the time for your Members of Congress and Senators to hear from you that they need to fight for bold measures to advance equity for our kids, their families, and their communities.
Your voice is needed! Call your Senators and Representatives TODAY and tell them you want to see their support for children, families, educators and food systems workers by passing the Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill. Here’s how:
Step 1: Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Step 2: Ask to be connected with the office of your Member of Congress. Give the Switchboard your zip code and they can connect you to your 1 Representative and 2 Senators.
Step 3: Leave a message for your Senators and Representatives like this:
Hi, my name is ___, and I am a constituent and a [parent, educator, farmer, etc.]. I’d like to ask [your Congressperson/Senator’s name] to pass Build Back Better because of its crucial investment in ensuring all kids have access to nourishing food every day, its expansion of quality early childhood education, and its investment in rural communities and communities of color.
I urge [your legislator] to pass the critical investments that will improve the nutrition of our nation’s children at a critical time, while investing in the resilience of our communities and food system as a whole. These issues matter to me because ____ [tell your story!]. Thank you!
Step 4: Take two more minutes to your story on social media so your networks know about this critical moment!
If you work for a government agency or university and cannot lobby, you can still make a difference! Instead of calling your legislators to discuss these specific policy asks, share general information about farm to school experiences and needs in your community. Sharing information is not lobbying - it’s education, which we can all do!
Taking action right now, while this reconciliation bill is in discussion, is especially crucial. Make your calls and forward this message to a friend. THANK YOU for taking a few minutes out of your day to make your voice heard.