Obama Signs Child Nutrition Act
Taking an historic step to improve the health of children across the country, President Obama signed into law today (Dec. 13) the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. For the first time in three decades, the federal government will dedicate additional resources to expanding child nutrition programs and improving the quality of school lunches in order to fight rising hunger and reduce childhood obesity.
The $4.5 billion measure will, among other things, broaden the federal school lunch program to reach many more low-income students; increase the number of school breakfasts, after-school meals and summer lunches; update school nutrition standards in cafeterias and vending machines; help communities establish farm-to-school programs that connect kids to healthy local produce; and expand access to drinking water in schools.
Environmental Working Group, which asked its supporters to contact Congress in support of the landmark legislation, applauds the bipartisan commitment to the health of future generations of young Americans.
“A healthy diet should go hand in hand with math, history and science,” said EWG President and Co-founder Ken Cook. “A steady diet of healthy food is the cornerstone to a child’s development.”
“The First Lady deserves an additional round of applause for her leadership in moving the bill through Congress,” added Cook. “Without her leadership, this historic investment in our children might not have happened.”
The bill had bipartisan support in both houses, something President Obama noted in his address before signing the bill at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
“We can still come together and agree on issues that matter for our children’s future and for our future as a nation,” Obama said. “And that’s really what today is all about.”
The President was joined at the bill signing by First Lady Michelle Obama, who has championed better nutrition as part of her Let’s Move initiative to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity and promote healthy living through good food and exercise.
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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. http://www.ewg.org