Alliance Writes to Congress on Drinking Water
In March 2022, thirty-six organizations and thirty-nine individuals endorsed letters sent to the Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee, the Congressional committees that oversee reauthorization of the child nutrition programs. The letters provided recommendations for ways in which child nutrition programs, School Nutrition Programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) can support improved drinking water safety and access.
The leading recommendation, that Congress ensure that every public K-12 school has at least one water bottle filling station in a high-traffic area that is accessible throughout the school day, is also embraced in a letter to Congress from the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA). That letter, led by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is endorsed by 50 organizations.
The Appendix to the National Drinking Water Alliance letter outlines talking points on issues around drinking water safety and access in child nutrition programs with details and citations from the peer-reviewed research, including:
The importance of access to drinking water
The status of drinking water access in schools
Drinking water safety in schools and childcare
Environmental impacts of beverage choice
The heightened importance of drinking water safety and access for women, infants and young children (WIC)
The brief, Effective Access to Drinking Water in Schools: What is it and why does it matter?, co-authored by researchers from UC ANR Nutrition Policy Institute, Stanford University and the University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition, summarizes the evidence on access to drinking water in schools and supports the recommendation to ensure that all schools have at least one water bottle filling station for students.
Congress has recently stepped-up attention to drinking water needs and the National Drinking Water Alliance recommendations provide easy actions that leverage the federal child nutrition programs in order to close some gaps.
Read the entire letter here. The same letter was also sent to the House Education and Labor Committee.