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Update: House Committee Takes Up Debate On School Food Proposal

On Thursday, the House Committee on Education and Labor held a full committee hearing to discuss the "Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act."

U.S. Capitol Building

Photo: U.S. House of Representatives (via flickr)

Over 32 million children in the United States currently rely on federally-subsidized school meals.

On Thursday, the House Committee on Education and Labor held a full committee hearing to discuss the “Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act.” (H.R.5504).

The legislation was drafted to expand access to nutritious food for millions of U.S. schools children and to regulate the quality of food already available to children in schools and child care facilities.

Highlights From The Hearing

In his opening statement, Chairman George Miller detailed the goals of act:

The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act will help accomplish this task by making four important improvements in America’s children nutrition programs:

First, we streamline and increase access for children to healthy nutritious food during the school day.

Second, we work to improve food safety and the recall process in our schools.

Third, we increase the reimbursement rate for the first time in over 30 years to better support schools ability to offer healthy school meals.

Lastly, we provide opportunities for year-round service, on weekends, during vacation and holidays and during the summer because hunger and children’s nutritional needs do not take a summer vacation.

Top Chef Takes The Stand

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, host of Top Chef, was also present for the hearing and petitioned members of Congress to support the act.

This [bill] will mean a population of robust, productive adults and a more competitive America. Malnourished kids are not capable of vision and ideas — and without that we are relegating this nation to a future of mediocrity and poor health.

Colicchio addressed the issue of children refusing to eat healthy food when it is provided for them, to which his response was, “Come on, people! We’re adults here. It’s up to us to do better.”

Watch: Tom Colicchio issues his statement in support of the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010.

Read More:

  • Full Committee hearing of the House Committee on Education and Labor (House.gov)
  • Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010 (House.gov)
  • At long last, House legislators are taking on school lunch (Slow Food USA)
Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer was in the company of foodies for most of her formative years. She spent all of her teens working at her town's natural food co-op in South Dakota, and later when she moved to Minneapolis, worked as a produce maven for the nation's longest running collectively-managed food co-op. In 2006, she had the distinct pleasure (and pain) of participating the vendanges, or grape harvest, in the Beaujolais terroire of France, where she developed her compulsion to snip off grape clusters wherever they may hang. In the spring of 2008, Megan interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she aided in the coverage of science, health and food policy stories. She joined Indiana Public Media in June, 2009.

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