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School Nutrition Association Applauds House Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
301-686-3124 Ext.
media@schoolnutrition.org

School Nutrition Association Applauds House Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill

New legislation provides additional funds; jumpstarts reauthorization process

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (June 10, 2010) – The School Nutrition Association applauded the US House Education and Labor Committee today for introducing the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010, a Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill that includes critical funds to further improve healthy school meals.

At a press conference announcing the bill, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller thanked the School Nutrition Association and other advocacy groups for their work on child nutrition issues.

The House bill’s introduction reignites the reauthorization process. The legislation largely mirrors the Senate’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provisions, but is expected to expand the Senate bill’s additional funds for child nutrition programs. 

“As school children nationwide are going on summer vacation, too many children who rely on free and reduced price meals are going without - adding urgency to Congress’ efforts to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act,” said School Nutrition Association President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS and Executive Director of Child Nutrition Services for Dallas ISD (Tex.).  “The introduction of a strong House Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill is jumpstarting the effort to meet the nutritional needs of America’s school children, expanding the reach of school meals to those in need and providing vital funds to support school nutrition programs as they offer students more healthy options.”

“School nutrition professionals have been working hard to offer students a wider variety of fresh produce, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, to reduce sodium, sugar and fat in school meals and connect students with nutrition education initiatives ranging from cooking classes to farm to school programs,” said Rivas.  “School nutrition programs are improving school meals despite limited budgets, complicated regulations and federal reimbursements that don’t meet the cost of preparing school meals.  We applaud efforts by both the Senate and the House to provide school nutrition programs with additional resources to build on these successes.”

The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010 includes many critical improvements to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs which SNA has advocated for, including:

• Assisting schools in meeting Institute of Medicine recommendations for school meals by increasing the federal reimbursement rate for school lunch.
• Granting the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to establish national nutrition standards for all foods sold on the school campus throughout the school day;
• Expanding universal meal service through community eligibility; a new option allowing high-poverty schools to offer free meals to all students without collecting paper applications;
• Establishing professional standards for school nutrition personnel and providing additional training for the individuals who operate the federal school nutrition programs;
• Expanding direct certification for school meals to include children who are eligible for Medicaid; and
• Expanding access to school breakfast, afterschool meals and the Summer Food Service Program.

For additional information SNA’s legislative priorities for Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010, please see SNA's 2010 Legislative Issue Paper.

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 53,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.  The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals.  Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

 

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