capitol2HOST Coalition Members:

Please consider signing your organization to the below letter to obtain Congressional appropriations leadership in support of funding for programs that help out-of-school-time programs provide healthy eating and physical activity to students. The HOST Coalition Policy Working Group drafted the letter because in a challenging federal appropriations climate we need to send a strong, unified message to Congress in support of the federal policies and programs that are leveraged by local afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs. The letter urges Appropriations Committee leadership to maintain or increase federal funding for several programs that promote a healthy childhood weight for our nation’s children through support of before-school, afterschool, and summer learning programs focused on healthy eating and physical activity. We are asking for national or state organizations to sign the letter in order to demonstrate broad support for healthy out of school time programs. Individuals will not be listed on the letter.

You can view the letter below. To sign on, click here and complete the form Closing date for signatures is Friday, June 16nd by 5pm.

Please email Tiereny Lloyd, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions. A copy of the completed letter listing all organizations who signed on will be sent to you in June.


June 2017
The Honorable Roy Blunt
Chairman
Appropriations Subcommittee on
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Patty Murray
Ranking Member
Appropriations Subcommittee on
Labor, Health and Human
Services, and Education
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Tom Cole
Chairman
House LHHS-ED Appropriations Subcommittee
2467 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Ranking Member
House LHHS-ED Appropriations
Subcommittee
2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray; and Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

As your Committees begin the fiscal year 2018 appropriations process, we urge you to maintain or increase federal funding that promotes a healthy childhood weight for our nation’s children through support of before and after school, and summer learning programs focused on healthy eating and physical activity.

In particular, the national organizations listed below call on your Committees to prevent cuts, keep level and/or provide increases in funding for the following proved programs:

  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) within the Department of Education provides almost 2 million school-age children and youth with access to local school and community afterschool programs that include physical activity, healthy meals and nutrition education.
  • Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) within the Department of Health and Human Services provides low-income families with school-age children a voucher to cover childcare services. The 2014 reauthorization of CCDBG mandated health, safety and wellness standards for all programs.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) within the US Department of Agriculture provides more than 340 million healthy afterschool meals and snacks per year to low income children through afterschool programs.
  • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) - within the US Department of Agriculture is a federally funded, state-administered program that reimburses providers who serve free healthy meals to children and teens in low-income areas during the summer months when school is not in session.
  • CDC funding related to school health and obesity prevention including School Health Branch in the Division of Population Health, which support professional development, and training of staff providing preventative health service to young people in afterschool programs.

Maintaining funding for these programs will ensure afterschool programs continue to be a particularly valuable strategy to improve the health of students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Afterschool programs:

  • Serve 10.2 million children for an average of 7 hours per week
  • Serve children most at risk for being overweight, including children of color and those from lower socio-economic status families.
  • Occur during a time of the day that many children would otherwise be sedentary and not likely to participate in physical activity.
  • Provide healthy meals and snacks that can serve as nutritious examples.
  • Provide staff who understand children’s needs and can promote healthy eating and active lifestyles.
  • Provide an opportunity for young people to interact with role models displaying healthy eating habits and leading healthy lifestyles.

Research shows that programs that utilize the afterschool space as a site for enjoying physical activity and learning about healthy lifestyles can improve student health outcomes:

  • A 2005 study in the Journal Applied Developmental Science measuring the health and social benefits of afterschool programs found that controlling for baseline obesity, poverty status, and race and ethnicity, the prevalence of obesity was significantly lower for afterschool program participants (21 percent) compared to nonparticipants. (33 percent).
  • A report by the U.S. Department of Education found that 10-16 year olds who have a relationship with a mentor are 46 percent less likely to start using drugs and 27 percent less likely to start drinking alcohol.

Federal support and policies that encourage widespread adoption of guidelines and standards and funding for staff training and equipment will help afterschool programs effectively promote a healthy childhood for all students. With an established record of accomplishment, afterschool and summer learning programs should not be underestimated as potential 'game changers' in promoting wellness among young people and therefore funding that support these programs must be maintained.

Thank you for your support.


To sign on, click here and complete the form.