Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Act now: Critical Time for Child Nutrition

The Senate passed their version of the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” in August; now the House needs to by tomorrow! School lunch needs your help!

In an editorial piece from the 9/22 edition of The New York Times, the implications and future of the US Senate’s approval of the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” was discussed.

The act would set new nutritional standards for child nutrition programs (i.e. school lunches), provide an additional $4.5 billion over the next ten years to fund these nutrition programs, as well as expand the number of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches.

While the version passed by the Senate is great, the House version is even more comprehensive, expanding the decade-long budget to $7.5 billion for positive nutrition programs and healthier lunches.

Though the Senate and the House approved these versions, this does not mean that both the Senate and the House will pass them.

Child nutrition programs such as National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs are set to expire tomorrow if the House doesn’t pass the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” by then.

We at the Organic School Project feel that this bill would be a GREAT step in the right direction in combating childhood obesity, ensuring that children get more access to healthy foods at school, and that the current nutrition standards for school meals are given a close look. While we know the bill is not perfect and more funding is necessary, by letting the bill expire we run the risk of schools missing out on millions of dollars in meal reimbursements and the opportunity to finally remove unhealthy food from school vending machines.

This is where you come in. Help us ensure these essential nutrition programs continue in the future. Please contact your U.S. Representative by September 30th and urge him or her to vote yes on the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” when it comes up for a vote. Your help can move schools ever closer to bringing better foods to school lunch menus nation-wide.

Take a look at the full and summarized Senate and House versions of the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

And visit Healthy Schools Campaign for a model email and instructions on how to send it your representatives!

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