On Thursday, July 1, the House of Representatives will begin hearings on the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act, an $8 billion bill to fund federal nutrition programs. This bill was brought forward by Rep. George Miller D-Martinez, CA, chair of the House Education and Labor Committee. The bill, similar to the $4 billion Senate version, expands access to child nutrition programs, sets standards for all food sold in schools – including vending machines and snack foods, spells out new food safety regulations and adds $.06 in reimbursement for every school meal.
Healthy school food advocates have sought an additional $1.00 per meal, effectively doubling the amount available to schools to spend on food costs. Currently, for every $2.68 schools receive in reimbursement, only $1 goes to food. The movement to shift to healthy, fresh and local foods seeks more funds to spend on food. Both the Senate and House bills include the additional $.06, the first increase, supporters point out, in decades.
First Lady Michelle Obama has been a high-profile supporter of healthy school food. With the recent launch of the Let’s Move campaign, the White House has thrown its support into both improving school nutrition and stemming childhood obesity through increased physical activity.
You can help improve school food by contacting your representatives today to urge them to support the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act on July 1st.
The hearing begins Thursday at 10 am EST. Watch a live webcast here.