Posted on September 30th, 2010 No comments
The reauthorization of the child nutrition bill, which recently passed in the Senate and which would required stricter food standards and given more money for nutritional programs in schools, was stalled in the House because of fears the money needed for the program would be taken from the food stamp, or SNAP, program. Anti-hunger activists and a group of Democrats protested the bill because they felt it would take $2 billion from SNAP and thus cut $59 a month from a family of four’s food budget. Public health advocates, though, say the $2 billion was coming from a temporary increase to SNAP that was to cover an inflation increase which ultimately never materialized.
Full Congressional passing of the bill looked promising as the Senate unanimously passed it this summer and First Lady Michelle Obama wrote an op-ed piece for The Washington Post calling the legislation “groundbreaking” and important in bringing needed change to schools. However, many in the House felt the bill too controversial, and didn’t want to tackle it before mid-term elections. Nancy Rice, president of the School Nutrition Association, warns that programs like this are essential in helping to combat the nation’s obesity epidemic.
We can no longer afford to voice our concerns about rising rates of childhood obesity and the need to promote healthier lifestyles at school without investing in the programs that reach children in their school cafeterias each day.
For more, click here.
Posted on August 12th, 2010 No comments
USA Today ran a piece earlier this week which discusses how local chefs are helping their school districts introduce nutritious meals and ingredients into their lunch and breakfast programs. This is all part of Michelle Obama’s broader Let’s Move campaign to end childhood obesity and the chefs definitely see the need to provide better options for kids. Chef Tony Geraci, director of food and nutrition at Baltimore City Schools, says:
It’s time for Americans to “start doing right by our children” by serving them better food at school so they can be successful and healthy and live long lives. Kids can’t grow and thrive if they are being fed by a “chicken nugget factory.”
Geraci and other chefs try to introduce fruits, vegetables and grains in a way that’s exciting to kids. And they use their background in culinary arts to make the meals more presentable on the plate, which draws attention from the kids. They also help out the schools in other areas such as hosting dinners and teaching knife skills.
To read the full article, which also includes ways to pack creative, healthy lunches and kid-friendly recipes, click here.