Here's a great article on the challenge of feeding kids over the summer by Amelia Knisely of Mountain State Spotlight. My friends at the WV Food For All Coalition have worked for years to pass a bill addressing out of school food programs. Ironically, in 2020 the bill died just as the pandemic was setting in...which kinda demonstrated the need for it.
As awful as the 2021 legislative session was, a resolution to study the issue passed the senate. It remains to be seen how they'll follow up on it, but it took a lot of work to get things that far.
Still, a lot of people all over the state are working hard on the issue. There's also some federal good news. Trump-era SNAP restrictions have been removed and the American Rescue Plan extends free school lunches and P-EBT cards for kids eligible for free and reduced lunch or for all students in counties that have implemented the Community Eligibility Provision. Last year, P-EBT cards were sent to over 220,000 WV families, which meant millions of dollars pumped into local economies.
I'm hoping we can make some of the temporary provisions, like free school meals for all, P-EBT cards, SNAP boosts and enhanced tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit permanent.
And it looks like West Virginia's senators will have a lot to say about that.