Advocates Calling on Congress for Better Investment in Kids

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Advocates for children’s well-being are in Washington, D.C. today, calling on lawmakers to invest in kids.

The Save the Children advocacy summit is gathering people from around the country to speak with members of Congress. They are focusing on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, which is a voluntary home visiting program.

Anita Davis, volunteer and outreach leader for the Save the Children Action Network in Tennessee, said she did home visiting for seven years in Metro Nashville in a low-income housing area and is well aware of the needs of families and the importance of the renewal of the program.

“This legislation will end on September 30th if Congress does not renew it,” Davis pointed out. “So we’re talking with — I’ll be speaking with — my two state senators and two of the congressional representatives from Tennessee, to urge them to please not only renew this legislation but to improve it.”

Davis noted they also are advocating for Congress to reauthorize the Farm Bill, which would include improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

According to Feeding America, in Tennessee, 41.8% of households receiving SNAP benefits have children. Save the Children is urging Congress to preserve and protect SNAP benefits because so many families rely on them.

Roy Chrobocinski, managing director of federal domestic policy for Save the Children, said the rising price of goods and supply-chain issues have affected families and their ability to access food.

“We know the benefits don’t go far enough,” Chrobocinski stressed. “We know that families who receive the benefits, they still have to pay money out of pocket. It’s not covering the cost of all of their food, but it makes sure that they can supplement what they are paying to make sure that they have enough food to eat each day, each month.”

Chrobocinski added children do not donate to political campaigns, and they cannot vote, so he argued it is critical for Save the Children advocates in Washington to share their stories and make it clear to members of Congress the importance of investing in children.