June 11 ,2009 - Headline on the front page of USA Today screams what many of us have known for some time: more students than ever are participating in National School Lunch Program through the free and reduced price categories. The paper cites USDA statistics showing that 16.5 million students now receive free school lunches daily, up 6.3% over last year, while 3.2 million receive reduced price lunches. A follow-up story inside the paper gets into the many examples of how current meal reimbursement does not cover the cost of producing a healthy school lunch.
The Arizona Republic front page also has a story on this - showing an 11.33% increase in free school lunch participation in that state. ABC News has reprinted the USA Today story on their website as well.
And the Chicago Tribune today has a different child nutrition reauthorization story today that goes directly to the need for national nutrition standards and the need for increased funding for more whole grains, fruits and veggies and lowfat dairy in school meals.
Why not take a moment and let you members of Congress know that these articles appeared today and that increased funding is critical for school nutrition programs. Over 7,089 emails have already been sent by SNA members to Congress on these issues this year, already more than the entire total for 2008. Continue to take action and make your voice heard!
June 11, 2009 - Last night Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT,) chairwoman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award at the Food Research and Action Center Annual Benefit Dinner. After being introduced by Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO,) Chairwoman DeLauro addressed several hundred anti-hunger and nutrition advocates and business leaders calling for a strong child nutrition reauthorization bill this year. Among the priorities she outlined that need to be addressed as part of reauthorization, an expansion of the free meal category up to 185% of poverty, increasing access to the summer feeding program, expanding the supper program, enhancing the nutritional quality of school meals, and increasing the meal reimbursement.. Former Senator George McGovern (D-SD) also took the stage at the event and called for many of the same issues to be addressed as part of child nutrition reauthorization.
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