Child-nutrition bill passes the Senate

Just in time for school

August 10, 2010

Just like the Farm Bill, which comes up for renewal every five years, federal funding for child nutrition is reassessed every half-decade. This year is a deadline year, and — just in time for the start of the school year — the Senate has passed a child-nutrition bill approving funding. As the blog Food Safety News noted,

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act reauthorizes federal child nutrition programs, sets nutritional standards for all food sold in schools, and increases the reimbursement rate for the first time in over three decades, by approximately 6 cents a meal.

As ABC News reported, Michelle Obama, whose signature campaign as First Lady has been her Let’s Move! project to fight obesity and promote nutrition in kids, is pleased. The bill now moves to the House, where it is expected to pass — hopefully before current funding expires at the end of September:

The House version of the bill, the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act, was approved last month by the Education and Labor Committee but the full House has yet to take it up. The House version is more expansive and would provide $8 billion for school nutrition programs, a figure more in line with the president’s request for an unprecedented $10 billion in the FY2011 budget to overhaul the Child Nutrition Act.

Public-school breakfast and lunch are permanently funded, the School Nutrition Association has noted. The Senate and House bills affect other types of funding, including the Women, Infants, and Children program.

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1. by Caroline Cummins on Aug 12, 2010 at 6:00 PM PDT

Slow Food USA recently urged people to join its One Step Closer campaign, encouraging the passage of the House bill over the Senate version. Why? The Senate bill funds child nutrition but cuts food-stamp spending to do so; the House bill doesn’t.

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