Military Leaders Commend Food Insecurity Provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Rescue Plan Act, passed today by Congress, contains emergency relief for families and youth experiencing food insecurity. With as many as 17 million children now facing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic, the legislation provides temporary nutrition assistance that America’s top retired military leaders see as critical for our future national strength.
“Child malnutrition was a problem before the coronavirus pandemic, but the global health and economic crisis has made the problem much worse. With obesity disqualifying one-third of young Americans from serving in the military, ensuring children have access to healthy food is a national security imperative,” said Rear Admiral (Ret.) Kathleen M. Dussault, U.S. Navy. “We cannot allow the current health crisis to result in a future national security crisis. Mission: Readiness commends lawmakers for prioritizing this important nutrition assistance in the American Rescue Plan Act.”
The American Rescue Plan Act increases payments to beneficiaries of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for four months, and provides funding to modernize participation in the program. The legislation also strengthens and extends the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program through the duration of the crisis, to ensure that school-age children who rely on school meals have access to healthy food when schools are closed.
“Mission: Readiness urges Congress to build upon this meaningful action by supporting bipartisan efforts to improve access for all youth to fresh and nutritious foods year round, modernize nutrition education, and support efforts to promote the purchase and consumption of more fruits and vegetables in the home,” said Admiral Dussault.
Mission: Readiness is the nonpartisan organization of nearly 800 retired admirals and generals focused on mitigating the major barriers to enlistment, including America’s child obesity crisis. Since 2009, Mission: Readiness has championed evidence-based, bipartisan state and federal public policy solutions that are proven to prepare our youth for successful lives and to be able to serve their nation in any way they choose. Admiral Dussault, a Mission: Readiness member, retired in October 2012 after serving 33 years in the United States Navy.
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