Senator Boxer:  Important Nutrition Projects Included in Spending Bill   

Monday, August 10, 2009  


Dear Friend:

I am pleased to let you know that the recently passed Agriculture Appropriations bill, S.1406, includes investments aimed at making more nutritious food available to more people and to help address hunger in our nation.

First, there is an increase in support for child nutrition programs that will provide funding for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Child and Adult Care Food programs.  These programs serve nutritious lunches and breakfasts to young students in order to improve the health and well-being of the nation’s children.  The bill would provide $16.80 billion in mandatory budget authority for these programs, an increase of $1.75 billion over what was enacted for Fiscal Year 2009.

The WIC program will also see an increase. This program provides assistance to pregnant, breast-feeding and post-partum women and infants, and to children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk because of inadequate nutrition and inadequate income.  The bill provides $7.55 billion in discretionary budget authority for this program, which is $692 million more than the Fiscal Year 2009 level (excluding funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).  Additionally, $487 million in contingency funds will be available in Fiscal Year 2010, making a total of $8.04 billion available for the WIC program.

Another important increase was in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides assistance to needy persons and families to alleviate hunger and malnutrition and increase their food purchasing power.  S. 1406 would provide $61.35 billion in mandatory budget authority for this program which is $7.23 billion more than the enacted Fiscal Year 2009 level (excluding funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).

Lastly, funding for the Commodity Assistance Program will increase by $2.5 million over Fiscal Year 2009 funding. The program provides supplemental food to infants and children as well as prepared meals to low-income households.

As a leader in our nation’s work to provide better nutrition, I know that you care about these important programs.  You can count on me to continue to support these and other initiatives to make sure that all of our people have enough nutritious food to sustain them.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer