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Senate Passes Historic Child Nutrition Act, Hurdles Remain

On Thursday, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Child Kids Act passed by unanimous consent in the Senate.

U.S. Capitol Building

Photo: katieharbath (flickr)

"I am thrilled that Congress has taken a major step forward today in passing the Child Nutrition bill – a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will help us provide healthier school meals to children across America and will play an integral role in our efforts to combat childhood obesity," First Lady Michelle Obama said.

On Thursday, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Child Kids Act of 2010 passed by unanimous consent in the Senate. The legislation represents the largest investment in child nutrition programs in U.S. history, allotting $4.5 billion more in funding over the next ten years.

First Lady Michelle Obama, who is among the most visible champions of improving child nutrition, offered a congratulatory statement to the bipartisan team of senators responsible for the bill.

However, despite this victory for advocates of child nutrition, the House has yet to pass a version of the bill that would nearly double the allotted funding.

The first hurdle to overcome is getting a vote in the House — any action is delayed due to representatives already being on their August recess.

Additionally, the House version of the bill, unlike that which was just passed in the Senate, is not fully paid for. It has been proposed that funding be taken from food stamp programs to beef up the bill, and that is not making all lawmakers happy.

President Obama needs to receive (and sign) the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law by September 30, or else most of the bill’s funding will expire.

Read more:

  • Senate approves $4.5B child nutrition bill (The Hill)
  • Child Nutrition Bill Passes the Senate, Food Stamp Funding Takes Cut (Civil Eats)
  • First Lady Lauds Lawmakers as Senate Unanimously Passes Child Nutrition Bill (Obama Foodorama)
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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