Gillibrand, right, with comedian Amy Poehler. (Courtesy of Gillibrand's Facebook page)

Ithaca, N.Y. — A United States senator will be visiting little Ithaca for the second time this month.

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) will appear at the cafeteria of the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School on Monday, Feb. 23, to voice her support for federal child nutrition programs, according to Jonathan Fuller, spokesperson for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer spoke at Ithaca’s City Hall yesterday about truck safety. (You can read about his visit here.)

Gillibrand will speak about her priorities for the legislative process of the Child Nutrtion Reauthorization, according to Fuller.

The event will begin at 12:45 and last 45 minutes.

The Child Nutrition Reauthorization act authorizes all federal school meal and child nutrition programs, a pamphlet from the Food Research and Auction Center says. But it’s set to expire on Sept. 30, 2015.

As a result, groups of activists and local officials are calling for the program’s renewal or expansion. Gillibrand and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) have introduced a bill, the “Summer Meals Act,” to expand the Summer Food Program to low-income children.

“Senator Gillibrand will be outlining her priorities and discussing the importance of the legislation at the event” in Ithaca, according to Fuller.

Gillibrand, right, with comedian Amy Poehler. (Courtesy of Gillibrand’s Facebook page)

Fuller, of the local food bank, also relayed the food bank’s overall goals for 2015.

Here are a few of the main 2015 priorities of the food bank:

1 — To strengthen the states’ ability to reach children in the summer by eliminating the requirement that kids eat meals on-site and by increasing access to child nutrition programs outside school times.

2 — To secure additional federal resources for child nutrition programs by increasing reimbursement rates “to adequately cover the true cost of providing nutritious meals.”

3 — To get federal money to pay for weekend BackPack and pantry programs, since the food bank’s current BackPack program — now in its 9th year — is donor-funded and therefore does not have room to grow.

Here’s the food bank’s 2015 priorities fact-sheet:

Food Bank CNR 2015 Priorities (1)

You can read more about Gillibrand’s push for child nutrition here.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.