Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Highlights Washington, D.C. Efforts to Improve School Meals and Health of our Nation's Children
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2010 -Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today joined several Washington, D.C. Council members and community leaders that were instrumental in passing the new "Healthy Schools" legislation locally and urged Congress to pass a strong reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act to improve school meals across the country. Vilsack visited Alice Deal Middle School and joined D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray, D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh and about 50 students, parents and community leaders who were instrumental in achieving the landmark nutritional advancements.
"The work of Alice Deal Middle School, right here in Washington, is a great example of what can be achieved nationally when Congress passes a strong reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act," Vilsack said. "This is an important, symbolic step toward reducing childhood hunger and obesity in this country and lays the groundwork for improving the health and nutrition of our nation's children."
Congress is currently considering legislation to bolster the Child Nutrition Act, which authorizes the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Summer Food Service Programs. These programs serve nearly 32 million children each school day and work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Improving the Child Nutrition Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign and highlighted in the White House report Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation released Tuesday, May 11. By passing strong reauthorization legislation, with the full $1 billion annual increase requested in President Obama's budget, the Administration hopes to reduce hunger, promote access, and improve the overall health and nutrition of children throughout the country. To learn more about the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, visit www.LetsMove.gov.
The Obama Administration has proposed a historic investment of an additional $10 billion over ten years, which would enable training for school food service workers, upgraded kitchen equipment, and additional funding for meal reimbursements for schools that are enhancing nutrition and quality. Additionally, this investment will allow additional fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat and fat free dairy products to be served in our school cafeterias and an additional one million students to be served the healthy diets in school.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs including the child nutrition programs that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance program.
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