APHA supports Senate bill to reauthorize child nutrition programs

Date: Jan 19 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: David Fouse, 202-777-2501

Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2016 — The American Public Health Association today announced its support of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee’s bipartisan measure to reauthorize our nation’s child nutrition programs, which include school breakfasts and lunches.

The measure would maintain the major nutrition-related provisions for sodium, whole grains and increased fruits and vegetables in school lunches. It would also require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revise guidelines for sodium and whole grain content to provide any struggling schools with additional time to meet the sodium standards and flexibility for whole grains. The bill would also support efforts to provide adequate kitchen equipment, technical assistance and training to school districts in need.

“Child nutrition programs give our kids the best foundation to learn and become healthy, productive adults,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “This compromise legislation offers us a real path forward to build on a science-based approach while providing schools struggling to meet the guidelines the flexibility and support they need to ensure that our kids have healthy food options.

“It’s been more than five years since the last reauthorization of our child nutrition programs set forth by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. We encourage senators to support the measure and urge the House of Representatives to move forward with a similar bipartisan effort that ensures continued progress toward healthier school meals.”

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the profession of public health, share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.