ROANOKE, Va. – A local nonprofit is working to change a federal regulation that limits the number of children they're able to reach.
Feeding America Southwest Virginia (FASWVA) gets federal funding for feeding programs through the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act. That includes a regulation called the Congregate Meal Requirement that demands servers watch children eat and finish meals they distribute to them.
"We can't just pull up in a neighborhood that we know has children in need, have the children come to the truck and take the meals home with them," FASWVA marketing and communications coordinator Amanda Allen said.
Allen said that robs volunteers of time and limits the sites they're able to serve.
"We can document that and say, 'This child was fed,' versus obviously, if a child took that home with them, ultimately we don't know where that ends up. But you know, that places special requirements on food banks that can make it really challenging to feed kids in places where they really need it," Allen said.
That's why FASWVA is fighting back, lobbying members of Congress to strike the requirement from the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, which is up for renewal right now.
Allen said the change would ultimately allow them to feed more people in need.