Here is some more news about the Child Nutrition Reauthorization, known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which passed both the House and Senate and now awaits the President’s signature. The full post below from the House Committee on Education and Labor website lays out what the bill will do, including provide $40 million in mandatory funding for Farm to School. You can click here to link directly to this post and see a list of supporters of the bill. Click here for an article from the same House Committee released yesterday that summarizes the bill and indicates that President Obama is expected to sign the bill in the very near future. The First Lady also released a statement about the Child Nutrition legislation; click here to check it out. If you care to read or review the 84 pages of text of the final, enrolled bill, click here.
Kittredge, Betsy Miller
For millions of families, the meals their children receive at school or in child care are their only chance at a healthy meal all day. In 2008, more than 16 million children lived in homes without access to enough nutritious food. America's children should not have to go hungry -- they should have access to healthy foods year round that will help them thrive physically and academically.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S. 3307) will dramatically improve children?s access to nutritious meals, enhance the quality of meals children eat both in and out of school and in child care settings, implement new school food safety guidelines and, for the first time, establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools. This legislation will answer President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's call to reduce childhood hunger and support school and community efforts to reduce childhood obesity.
· Increases the number of children enrolled in the school meals programs by using Medicaid data to directly certify eligible children. This provision will connect approximately new 115,000 students to the school meals program.
· Enhances universal meal access for eligible children in high poverty communities by using census data to determine school wide income eligibility.
· Provides more meals for at-risk children nationwide by allowing Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) providers to be reimbursed for meals provided to low-income children after school. This provision will provide an additional 21 million meals annually.
· Provides funding for innovative state and local projects to address childhood hunger and promote food security for low-income children.
Increases Focus on Nutrition Quality and Children's Health
· Improves the nutritional quality of school meals by increasing the federal reimbursement rate for school lunches for districts who comply with federal nutrition standards. This additional 6 cents per meal will be the first real reimbursement rate increase in over 30 years.
· Removes junk food from schools by applying nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools.
· Promotes nutrition and wellness in child care settings by establishing nutrition requirements for CACFP.
· Connects more children to healthy produce from local farms by helping communities establish farm to school networks, create school gardens and use more local foods in cafeterias with $40 million in mandatory funding.
· Strengthens local school wellness policies by updating existing requirements, increasing transparency, providing opportunities for community involvement, and compliance measurements.
· Supports breastfeeding for low-income women by supporting data collection in WIC and permanently authorizing performance bonuses for exemplary breastfeeding practices at WIC clinics and agencies.
Improves Program Management & Program Integrity
· Supports schools' food service budgets by ensuring charges to school foodservice accounts are only for allowable expenses.
· Supports a skilled workforce by establishing professional standards and training opportunities for school food service providers.
· Streamlines program administration by giving CACFP providers greater flexibility with their administrative funds and eliminating duplicative paperwork requirements and wasteful monitoring practices.
· Increases efficiency and modernizes the WIC program by transitioning to an electronic benefit program.
· Improves food safety requirements for school meals by improving recall procedures and extending existing HACCP requirements to all places where school meals are prepared or served.
Fully Paid For -- At No Cost to Taxpayers
· Saves $1 billion over 10 years by extending a provision that allows the Secretary of Agriculture to count commodities purchased for market stabilization toward the required level of federal support (in the form of commodity foods) for the National School Lunch Program.
· Saves approximately $1.3 billion over 10 years by restructuring nutrition education in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) into a new grant program that distributes Federal funds by formula to the States.
· Saves approximately $2.2 billion over 10 years by eliminating a temporary SNAP benefit increase provided by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Farm to Institution Specialist
CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
Michigan State University
303 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222