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Success for the School Food Movement!

Posted Dec 02 2010 6:02pm

Read here for the press release from Colorado Congressman Jared Polis’ office:

December 2, 2010

Congressman Polis, Chef Cooper Praise Passage of Child Nutrition Bill

WASHINGTONContinuing his push to improve nutrition education and provide healthier school meals, Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) and Chef Ann Cooper praised the passage of critical child nutrition legislationS. 3307, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Actcontaining the most significant improvements to child nutrition, fitness, and school meal programs in more than 30 years, by providing $4.5 billion in new spending over the next 10 years.

“As a former Superintendent of a public charter school in Denver a and Chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, I have tasted and eaten many school lunches and I have seen firsthand how lack of access to nutritious food prevents too many kids from reaching their full potential, academically and physically,” said Polis.  “Our schools should be our first defense against childhood obesity and malnutrition, but their potential has not been fully realized.  The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act reauthorizes the Child Nutrition Act and provides critical resources to our nation’s children, to their health and well-being, and to their academic success in school.”

“This is an imperfect bill, but it’s the best thing we can do for our children today,” said Boulder Valley School District’s Director of Nutrition Services Chef Ann Cooper.  “Congress took decisive action today that will help ensure the ongoing health and well-being of our nation’s children.  I fully support Congressman Polis and his colleagues who worked so hard to pass this bill and improve the nutrition of our students.”

Specifically, the bill:

·         Supports schools’ food service budgets and improves the nutritional quality of school meals by increasing the federal reimbursement rate for school lunches by 6 cents per meal – the first reimbursement rate increase in more than 30 years.

·         Requires the Agriculture Department to develop science-based nutrition standards for all foods sold on a school campus during the school day – which will lead to significantly reducing the availability of high calorie junk foods and sugary beverages on school campuses.

·         Strengthens local wellness policies to help schools, communities and parents identify and implement strategies to make a real difference in helping children to develop healthy behaviors when they’re away from home.

·         Allows 115,000 new students to access school meals programs and provides an additional 21 million meals to at-risk children annually through the after-school supper program.

·         Improves food safety requirements for school meals by improving recall procedures and extending existing food safety requirements to all places where school meals are prepared or served.

After passing the House today by a vote of 264 to 157 and being unanimously approved by the Senate earlier this year, the bill now heads to the President to be signed into law.

In the House, Congressman Polis has introduced:

·         H.R. 4870 The Healthy School Meals Act – which would promote healthier school meal options and improve children’s eating patterns by encouraging the inclusion of healthful plant-based options in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

·         H.R. 5090 The Nutrition Education and Wellness in Schools (NEW Schools) Act – which would help fight childhood obesity by strengthening school districts’ wellness policies and improve nutrition education and promotion in classrooms across the nation.

H.R. 5480 The Ending Childhood Hunger Challenge Act – which would help achieve President Obama’s national call to end childhood hunger by challenging states to end childhood hunger by 2015 and give them the necessary tools and resources to do so.

“Making sure that our children get a world-class education cannot be accomplished if they don’t get the proper nutrition to make it through the day and learn,” said Polis.  “This bill makes strategic investments to help ensure that no child has to go hungry and that across the country, children in urban, suburban, and rural communities alike have access to the nutrition they need to be healthy and to achieve their potential.”

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