Release | December 22, 2020

Mission: Readiness Applauds Nutrition Priorities in Pandemic Relief and FY21 Spending Agreement

Mission: Readiness thanks Congress for passing much needed national food system support, increasing children’s access to fresh and nutritious food

Washington, D.C. – Today, Mission: Readiness praised the passage of a year-end pandemic relief and fiscal year 2021 funding agreement that contains critical nutrition program adaptations and food system funding to help address the increasing rates of malnutrition amongst our nation’s children.

“Congress’ year-end bill takes important steps to help address food insecurity experienced by our nation’s children” said Lieutenant General Norm R. Seip, U.S. Air Force, Retired. “When Congress passed the National School Lunch Program in 1946 it included a policy statement declaring that the program was established ‘as a measure of national security’. Today, with Congress acting to continue to fund adaptations for school meal delivery and distribution, and taking steps to increase access to fresh and nutritious foods at all stages of development, Congress is again recognizing that combating malnutrition is a national security matter.

The bipartisan agreement provides critical adaptations to school meal programs, increases access for families to fresh fruits and vegetables and online food purchases with SNAP and WIC, and extends the Pandemic EBT program. This will help address the hunger crisis now and serve as a foundation for much needed modernizations of child nutrition programs in the future. Provisions to support a durable, responsive food system with modernizations to programs for growers and producers will help increase access to fresh and nutritious foods for our nation’s children.

“By taking a food systems approach, Congress’ year-end work creates a foundation for durable solutions across nutrition programs, including modernizations and financial support for our nation’s food producers and for our nation’s families,” said Rear Admiral Casey W. Coane, U.S. Navy, Retired. “It will help address existing shortfalls in our nation’s response to childhood malnutrition to get us through the pandemic and serve as the path forward to eliminate childhood malnutrition to help our children grow up healthy and strong.”

Mission: Readiness, an organization of nearly 800 retired admirals and generals, is committed to forging bipartisan solutions to the challenges of childhood malnutrition to ensure all children grow up healthy and prepared to serve their nation in any way they choose.


  1. National