From the Kitchen to the Congress: A Child Nutrition Reauthorization Blog

Healthy School Food Lobby Day June 24

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On June 24, 2009, a Healthy School Food Lobby Day will take place on Capitol Hill to support national nutrition standards legislation, specifically HR 1324 and S. 934, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Woolsey (D-Calif.) in the House with 140 co-sponsors and Senator Harkin (D-IA) in the Senate with 20 co-sponsors, is supported by the School Nutrition Association along with over 100 national, state and local groups. In addition to the Lobby Day, a national petition is also being conducted online allowing parents and individuals to support the legislation. The signatures will be presented during the Lobby Day next week.

SNA members can support the legislation, which ends the time and place rule and updates nutrition standards for foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, by sending an action alert to Congress here.


Child Nutrition Reauthorization Forum Held in Connecticut

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June 17, 2009- On Monday a Child Nutrition Forum with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was held in New Haven, Connecticut, sponsored in part by the School Nutrition Association of Connecticut, End Hunger Connecticut, the New Haven School Nutrition Department and others. DeLauro is Chairwoman of the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee in the House of Reprentatives. Participants discussed the need for national nutrition standards as well as increasing access to all of the child nutrition programs. The Forum will be aired in its entirety online tonight here.

Press coverage of the event can be accessed here and here.

New Bills Introduced on Global Hunger and Paperless 'Applications'

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June 17, 2009 - Two additional bills were introduced recently in Congress relating to child nutrition. On June 10, 2009, Senators Casey (D-PA) and Specter (D-PA) as well as Senator Bennet (D-CO) introduced S. 1226 which would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to improve paperless enrollment and efficiency for the national school lunch and school breakfast programs, based largely on the Philadelphia School Meal Pilot Program that has been the subject of several blog posts below. The legislation would save school nutrition programs time and money by replacing the meal application process with an alternative form of determining eligibility for free and reduced priced meals.

HR 2817 was also introduced last week. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) addresses global hunger and improves food security through the development and implementation of a comprehensive governmentwide global hunger reduction strategy and the establishment of the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security. The bill would increase support for global school feeding programs among many other efforts. The legislation has eight bipartisan co-sponsors.

The President and First Lady Address Reauthorization

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June 17, 2009- This week both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama separately renewed the Administration's call for a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act in Congress this year and a renewed emphasis on healthy school meals. SNA continues to work with the Administration and members of Congress on key policy priorities that would result in better access to nutritious school breakfasts, lunches and snacks through the federal child nutrition programs. Read more here.

Also see media coverage of the White House Garden Harvest yesterday from the Washington Post and ABC News here and here.

Should funding for school garden/farm programs be part of child nutrition reauthorization? Post your comment below!