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Chairman Lincoln Introduces Child Nutrition Reauthorization Legislation

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

Chairman Lincoln Introduces Child Nutrition Reauthorization Legislation

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (March 17, 2010) – US Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has officially launched Congressional efforts to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, which reaches over 31 million American children participating in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs each day.  Today, Chairman Lincoln introduced the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a draft reauthorization bill which offers a strong first step toward strengthening these programs and acknowledges the need to increase funding for school meals.

“School Nutrition Association greatly appreciates the efforts of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Lincoln to promote good nutrition for America’s school children and looks forward to working with members of the Committee throughout the Reauthorization process to ensure the critical needs of school meals programs are met," stated SNA President Dora Rivas, MS, RD, SNS and Executive Director of Child Nutrition Services for Dallas ISD (Tex.).  “Despite extremely limited budgets, school nutrition programs provide students well-balanced meals and are seeking crucial funding increases to further improve meal programs and include more fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains.”
 
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act includes many critical improvements to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs which SNA has advocated for, including:

  • 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;
  • Directing the Secretary of Agriculture to provide guidance on allowable charges to school nutrition programs to prevent inappropriate charges;
  • Expanding direct certification for school meals to include children who are eligible for Medicaid; and
  • Expanding access to afterschool meals and the Summer Food Service Program.

While the legislation would boost funding for the federal child nutrition programs by $450 million per year, including a performance-based 6 cent increase in the federal reimbursement rate for school lunches, additional efforts are needed to reach the $1 billion per year increase requested by President Barack Obama. 

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

SNA 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.

Related Links

 The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 - Complete Bill  (pdf)

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