A couple of Sunday newspaper articles caught our eye yesterday. The Washington Post had a good piece (Md. Meal Program Suffering in Schools) on the challenges facing school nutrition programs in Maryland: inadequate reimbursement rates, declining paid participation due to meal price increases, and rising food and labor costs. The article could have been written about school nutrition programs in almost any state and come out similarly. It is just the latest compelling article on the need for increased federal (and state and local) funding for school meals through Reauthorization this year. On a related note, 90 of 120 school nutrition programs in North Carolina are now operating in the red due to lack of adequate funding and increased costs.
The Des Moines Register, the most widely read paper in Senator Harkin's (D-IA) great state of Iowa, covered the other big Reauthorization topic on Sunday: national nutrition standards. The piece (Healthful Shift Ahead for U.S. Schools) explores the challenges and opportunities around the nutrition standards issue and focuses on Senator Harkin's Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act. Definitely worth the read!
Finally, the New York Daily News had a column reiterating the need for significant funding increases through the through the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act - a call echoed by food bank officials in NYC. Child Nutrition Problem Hungry for Solutions quotes Joel Berg, executive director of the New York Coalition Against Hunger, as saying "It's hard to imagine a higher budget priority than ensuring that all families have enough to eat."
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