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“The human body is the universe in miniature. That which cannot be found in the body, is not to be found in the universe. Hence the philosopher’s formula, that the universe within, reflects the universe without. It follows therefore, that if our knowledge of our own body could be perfect, we would know the universe.” — Mahatma Gandhi
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Take Action Now - Child Nutrition Reauthorization!

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Posted: Mon, Oct 4, 2010
By: Danielle Heard, MS, HHC
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There is still time for you to contact your congressional representatives to request that they pass a bill that will deliver significant funding, improvements and provisions to the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act in order to help America's children overcome childhood obesity and eliminate hunger.

This is an extremely important piece of legislation that includes the National School Lunch Program, School Nutrition Program, Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and other miscellaneous related programs. Your calls and letters to your representatives can help encourage the passing of a bill that will deliver enough funding and legislative change to significantly make a difference in the health of children.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have each been working on developing revised versions of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act as the current version expired on September 30, 2010.

The House of Representatives Committee of Education and Labor finalized their version of bill H.R. 5504 in July 2010 but Representative George Miller, who is the Chairman for the Committee of Education and Labor has not yet announced how he will move forward with the bill. H.R. 5504 is titled "Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act," and would provide $8 billion dollars in funding for child nutrition programs.

Highlights of H.R. 5504: (Please visit the link to read the full bill.)

  • Amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to revise the school lunch and breakfast programs, the summer food service program, the child and adult care food program (CACFP), and the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC program). Reauthorizes appropriations for such programs through FY2015.
  • Encourages the direct certification of children who receive other public assistance as eligible for free meals under the school lunch and breakfast programs.
  • Establishes new mechanisms by which schools or local educational agencies (LEAs) with very high proportions of low-income children can receive federal reimbursement for free or reduced price meals under such programs without collecting individual paper applications from households.
  • Establishes a program awarding competitive grants to states and, through them, competitive subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to establish or expand the school breakfast program at low-income schools.
  • Expands the access of low-income rural areas to the summer food service program.
  • Requires updates to meal patterns and nutrition standards for the school lunch and breakfast programs based on recommendations made by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
  • Requires the establishment of science-based nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools outside the school lunch and breakfast programs.
  • Requires local educational agencies (LEAs) participating in the school lunch and breakfast programs to establish local school wellness policies for their schools that include goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity and education, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness.
  • Requires reimbursable meals and snacks provided under the Child and Adult Care Food Program to meet the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans and certain authoritative scientific recommendations.
  • Encourages WIC program participants to breastfeed.
  • Requires WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems to be implemented nationwide by October 1, 2020.

On August 5, 2010, the Senate unanimously passed their version of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act known as S. 3307, "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010," and would provide $4.5 billion dollars of funding for child nutrition programs over a 10 year period. Additionally, it is my understanding that S. 3307 would cut $2.2 billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which is the Food Stamps program that assists over 40 million people per month and it would fund $40 million for the Farm to School Program versus the $50 million included in the House bill.

Highlights of S. 3307: (Please visit the link to read the full bill.)

  • Amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require the Secretary of Agriculture to provide performance awards to states with outstanding performance or substantial improvement in directly certifying children who receive other public assistance as eligible for free meals under the school lunch and breakfast programs.
  • States that direct certification for free school meals must require no action on the part of a child's household.
  • Establishes a demonstration project to determine the effectiveness of directly certifying children for free school meals using household income data from Medicaid.
  • Establishes new mechanisms by which schools or LEAs with very high proportions of low-income children can receive federal reimbursement for free or reduced price meals without collecting individual paper applications from households.
  • Gives priority to states with significant low-income child populations.
  • Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations to update the meal patterns and nutrition standards for the school lunch and school breakfast programs based on recommendations made by the Food and Nutrition Board of the NAS National Research Council.
  • Requires LEAs participating in the school lunch or breakfast programs to establish local school wellness policies for their schools.
  • Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations that require such LEAs to include: (1) goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness; (2) nutrition guidelines for all foods available on school campuses during the school day; (3) the local community in the development, implementation, and periodic review of such policies; (4) public notification regarding the content and implementation of such policies; and (5) periodic assessments of and reporting on policy implementation.
  • Requires all revenue from the sale in school of foods that are not reimbursable under the school lunch or breakfast programs to accrue to the nonprofit school food service account of a participating school food authority. Prohibits the costs of obtaining nonprogram foods from outstripping the revenue from selling such foods. Makes these requirements effective on July 1, 2011.
  • Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to require the Secretary to establish science-based nutrition standards consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans for foods served in schools outside the school lunch or breakfast programs.
  • Applies such standards to all food sold outside such programs anywhere on school campuses during the school day, with the possible limited exemption of food sold at school fundraisers.

If you research the bills you will see that both the House of Representatives and the Senate are working to make necessary changes to combat childhood hunger and obesity. However, H.R. 5504 will allot more funding which can provide better quality food to these programs without cutting the SNAP Food Stamps program.

Additionally Congressman Jared Polis has introduced a couple of bills that are related to the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act. H.R. 5090, "The Nutrition Education and Wellness in Schools Act (NEW Schools Act)," focuses on helping schools strengthen local wellness policies. H.R. 4870, "The Healthy School Meals Act," introduces pilot programs for plant based meals and healthy milk alternatives. H.R. 4870 is heavily supported by health activist groups such as Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food.

Currently, schools do not receive enough funding to provide truly healthy meals to children.  For many children, the meals they receive at school are the only meals they eat all day. The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act bill needs to include enough funding that would enable the National School Lunch Program to:

  • Offer whole foods plant-based entrees each day as a healthy option
  • Offer non-dairy milk options to students who request it (just not soy!)
  • Eliminate artificial ingredients from meals and other foods offered in schools
  • Eliminate all deep flash fried products
  • Offer truly 100% whole grains for grain products
  • Significantly reduce added oils and sugars
  • Focus on whole plant-based foods including fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains
  • Offer nutrition education which is not influenced by the food industry
  • Restrict competitive foods to only fruits, vegetables, legumes, all nature trail mixes and other health supporting items
  • Encourage farm to school programs with economic incentives
  • Provide enough funding so that school cafeterias are not dependent on a la carte sales.

We must make children's health a priority. Since habits are developed early in life and because schools are the place where children go to learn it is imperative that schools set the best example and serve only health supportive foods.

Please contact your congressional representatives and encourage them to pass H.R. 5504 or a bill that will provide at least $8 billion dollars in funding for such an important program involving the health of children. Please request that "The Healthy School Meals Act," H.R. 4870, be incorporated into the bill so that children would be offered healthy plant based meal options and alternatives to milk. And please request that the bill include enough funding for a strong Farm to School Program. The Senate bill is only proposing an extra 6 cents per meal extra over the next 10 years and it is not enough to provide the quality of food children deserve.

Congress will revisit the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act bill when they return to session after the November election. There is still time for you to contact your representatives. Even if you do not have children, it is important for you to take action
now in order to help improve the health of so many children who are our future.

Take Action Now!

Click on the links to contact your representatives:
Healthy School Lunches
Call Your Representatives
Write Your Representative
Write Your Senator
Write the President
Who Represents Me?

Don't let schools feed children garbage! Cheap processed food robs children of their health, well-being and potential.

Thank you very much for reading my blog and please continue to visit often.

I wish you good health, happiness and love!

Danielle

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Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | © 2008-2019 Artemis in the City, LLC. All rights reserved.
Email: info@artemisinthecity.com | Phone: 903-759-0172 | United States
Artemis in the City and logo and Food for the Untamed Soul are trademarks of Artemis in the City, LLC.

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