Women & Families

An America that Works for All of Us
Health and Nutrition for a Better Future for Our Children

Working families and the middle class are getting crushed.

  • Too many families are struggling to meet the basics, including putting food on the table or being able to see the doctor when they are sick.
  • In many working families, children are going hungry or eating cheap, less nutritious food, so their parents can scrap together enough money to make the rent.
  • Many families still can’t afford health coverage – and even families that are covered put off going to the doctor because they have to pay too much out-of-pocket.

Working families and the middle class are the engines of our economy.

  • When people have good jobs, when we can educate our kids, care for our families, afford health care, shop in our neighborhoods and retire with security, that’s what drives the economy forward.
  • We all do better when we all do better – and that means doing better for all our children.

We help build strong families and strong communities by decisions we make together.

  • The Child Health Insurance Program has cut the rate of uninsured kids by half. With low premiums, deductibles and the preventive care children need, CHIP has improved the health and futures of millions of American kids.
  • With CHIP, working parents know that a job loss won’t mean losing their children’s health insurance and a sick kid won’t mean bankruptcy.
  • Children nutrition programs like school breakfast and lunch and WIC are keeping millions of children fed with nutritious food to grow and learn. These vital services are helping parents meet the basics for their families.

It’s up to us to support strong families in strong communities.

  • That means Congress keeping funding for CHIP so it doesn’t end this year – that way millions of our kids will keep getting the affordable health care they need.
  • That means Congress supporting and improving child nutrition programs like school meals and WIC, so more of our children get the good food they need to grow and to learn.
  • It’s up to us to hold our elected officials in Congress accountable for supporting the vital services that keep our kids healthy and give parents peace of mind.
  • We can do this. Together we can provide a better future for our children and help parents care and support their families. This is what America is all about. We can build an America that works for all of us.

CHIP remains critical link for US children’s health: Landmark program still vital, even with Affordable Care Act

By Kim Krisberg

With federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program set to expire in September, children’s health advocates are calling on policymakers to take action on behalf of the millions of children at risk of losing access to affordable and comprehensive care.

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Child Nutrition Forum
Statement of Principles 2015

The Child Nutrition Forum – a diverse group of hundreds of national organizations – urges Congress to make critical investments and improvements in the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization that would increase and protect access to quality, nutritious foods in programs that serve children in child care, at home, during school and out of school. Such an investment is critical to improving the overall well-being of millions of children in America.

The Child Nutrition Programs fight hunger and improve health by ensuring children have access to quality nutrition, child care, educational and enrichment activities while improving their overall health, development and school achievement. These programs leverage public-private partnerships and foster broad support in communities. Further, the return on investment that results from these programs impacts the future health and healthcare needs of our workforce, our current and future economic growth, and our national defense. The good nutrition provided by these programs is an essential component of chronic disease and obesity prevention and treatment. Yet significant gaps remain, particularly in programs that serve children when they are away from school (afterschool, on weekends and during the summer).

The reauthorization must include an investment of new funding for child nutrition programs in order to close those gaps and to support a well-designed bill that will reduce hunger and food insecurity and improve children’s overall growth and development. Congress has a history of bipartisan support for child nutrition programs and without new program investments, it will be impossible for Congress to build on the progress made through the 2004 and 2010 reauthorizations.

For the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization, Congress must:

• Invest in child nutrition programs and ensure that the nutrition safety net programs that protect low-income children and families are safeguarded. Such investments should not come at the expense of other federal nutrition programs, or other programs that support low-income people and families.

• Improve and protect access and participation by supporting proposals that strengthen the programs and eliminate barriers to participation.

• Support and protect nutrition programs and initiatives that promote healthy eating among infants, children and pregnant and postpartum women.

• Streamline program operations and maximize use of technology to make it easier for providers to offer nutrition programs and for families to participate in them.

These principles are grounded in the Child Nutrition Forum’s belief that hunger – especially childhood hunger – can be solved and that the Child Nutrition Programs are a key part of that solution. Food insecurity is especially devastating for children, affecting their overall development and having a lasting impact on their cognitive performance. Adults who experienced food insecurity as children have lower levels of educational and technical skills.

By investing in the Child Nutrition Programs now, Congress can ensure that all children have the adequate and nutritious food they need to build healthy bodies and strong minds.

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