EARTH DAY NETWORK COMMENDS COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF CHILD NUTRITION BILL
July 15, 2010
For Immediate Release Contact: Lisa Swann 202 518-0044 ext. 14
Earth Day Network Commends Committee Passage of Child Nutrition Bill:
First Step to Provide Healthier Meals for Our Nation’s School Children
Statement of Kathleen Rogers, Earth Day Network President
“Today the Education and Labor Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives took a first step toward improving our nation’s school nutrition policy. A priority for many, including First Lady Michelle Obama, children’s nutrition has finally garnered the attention of our Congressional leaders. While we commend Chairman Miller and his committee for expanding and improving the nutritional quality of meals in schools through the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act, this is only the beginning of much needed reform.”
“While the measure raises school meal reimbursement rates by six cents, the first time in 30 years it has been raised, the rate is substantially below what is needed to serve healthy, fresh meals ($1.50 per meal). The bill should also mandate that at least 50 percent of federally-reimbursed monies for the National School Lunch Program be allocated toward actual food purchases so that 70 percent of food served is minimally processed and more fruits and vegetables are included. Nutrition education should also be required for food service managers and students.”
“As a national and international leader in environmental education and green schools, Earth Day Network is committed to creating a comprehensive healthy school environment for the over 55 million school children in the U.S. Our School Lunch Reform campaign is built on the principle that every student regardless of income should have the opportunity to eat nutritious foods that enhance, instead of inhibit, their ability to learn. As part of this campaign, Earth Day Network organized expert briefings and testified in the U.S. Senate, created a nationally-publicized documentary film, Lunch, which investigates the school lunch program, and launched a nationwide school garden program to help connect students with healthy food.”
“We applaud the committee’s efforts, including mandatory funding for farm to school program expansion, but we continue to seek Congressional support for full funding and implementation of the initiatives agreed to in this legislation, and hold our government accountable for making continued improvements over the next five years.”
“We are beginning to set American children on a path of healthy eating and healthy living at a time when approximately 22 percent of the nation’s children lack access to quality food and one in three children are overweight or obese. Over 32 million children rely on federal child nutrition programs, and this vote commences the federal effort to finally improve our nation’s school nutrition program.”
Find out more at www.supporthealthyschools.org.
About Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment. Our mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable environment. We pursue our mission through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer activism campaigns.
Our campaign and programs are predicated on the belief that an educated, energized population will take action to secure a healthy future for itself and its children. Earth Day Network has a global reach with a network of more than 20,000 partners and organizations in 190 countries. Earth Day Network is a 501(c)3 organization located in Washington, D.C.