It seems like Democrats and Republicans never agree on anything. But think again. They are finding common ground over food. And it could make a huge difference for America.
When Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate poised to battle over Biden's pick of big bank critic Biden taps big bank skeptic to for top regulatory post Schumer announces Senate-House deal on tax 'framework' for .5T package MORE (D-Ohio) recently signed on to the Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015, he found allies from across the aisle. Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-Ky.) joined him. So did Sens. John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanProposed IRS reporting requirements threaten taxpayer privacy, burden community financial institutions More than ever, we must 'stand to' — and stand behind — our veterans Trump getting tougher for Senate GOP to ignore MORE (R-Ark.) and Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (R-Ill.). From his party Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBuild Back Better Act must include funding to restore forests, make communities resilient and create jobs Interior reverses Trump, moves BLM headquarters back to DC Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan MORE (D-Colo.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyRepublicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sanders traveling to Iowa, Indiana to pitch Biden's spending package Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda MORE (D-Ind.) were among the first to join Brown.
Democrats and Republicans are rallying to end child hunger. It's a huge crisis with nearly 16 million children suffering from hunger in America.
During Brown's teleconference in June, it was described how a child was seen digging through the trash for food.
We need to take action against hunger. It cannot be half measures either. A key starting point is the summer hunger crisis that strikes America each year.
During the school year children from low-income families are able to receive free lunches. It's called the National School Lunch Program.
The free school lunches are a huge boost to needy families.
The food helps children fight off hunger so they can learn. Like President Truman said, "No nation is any healthier than its children." The National School Lunch Program has fought hunger in America for decades.
But when summer comes, the schools close. No longer is the free lunch available. Summer feeding sites are set up, but these cannot fill in the gap. They don't even come close.
According to Feeding America, "While the summer meal program is a critical support for millions of families, most low-income children – 82 percent of those receiving free and reduced price lunch during the school year – are not receiving summer meals. Barriers include transportation and a lack of accessible sites."
The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act (S. 1966), if passed, can change this. It will give needy families 30 dollars a month with an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. This will allow for food purchases to make up for the lost school meals during the summer months.
Think about a child living in a rural part of the country, not even close to a summer feeding site. Their family, even with employment, is struggling to get by because of low wages.
Obviously, sending their child to school and getting a free lunch is a huge boost during the year. They should not lose that help during the summer.
The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015 will keep it going, providing the EBT card so the family can purchase food for the child during June, July, August. It will be like having the school meals at home during the summer. The use of the EBT card to purchase the food will also help local stores with extra sales.
Children who are fed can grow and learn rather than suffer in hunger. The lack of nutrition has long term consequences for children and society. You are throwing away a country's future when you ignore child hunger.
But Congress can take action to stop child hunger. They have the opportunity to pass the Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015.
The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015 is a major step for ending hunger in America. The Congress should pass this bill and help the nation's children. Food is the fuel for America's future.
Lambers is the author of Ending World Hunger. He is a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.