Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Have you heard of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act?

This legislation was developed in conjunction with the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. The goal – to take control of childhood obesity and end the epidemic within a generation. It was passed in 2010 and has been finalized as of the end of January. Schools will now have a period of three years to fully implement the program. Here’s what I found out:

  • The USDA will now be able to control foods outside of the lunch room, like vending machines and school stores, to ensure that healthy choices abound. (Good job! Set the children up for SUCCESS not failure!)
  • Schools will be given a six cent per meal increase for compliance and performance. (Again, good job! Make them WANT to do well by giving them more money!)
  • Training and assistance to schools to help them maintain compliance and keep up with standards of performance.
  • In the lunch line you’ll see the following changes: more fruits, more veggies, more whole-grain rich foods, fat-free or low-fat milks as the only offerings, appropriate calories per age for meals, lowered levels of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.
  • There will FINALLY be accountability and reporting requirements from the schools to ensure the program is being followed.
  • Public involvement is not only welcomed, but required for some aspects of the program! Parent’s, if you haven’t heard about this, you may want to call the Principal on Tuesday.

You can click here to see the BEFORE and AFTER menus.

Here are some other statistics I discovered:

  • By streamlining the application process, approximately 115,000 additional children will be connected to the school meals program
  • The program will provide another 21 million meals annually to at-risk children during after-school programs
  • By using census data instead of paper applications, the program will give school meal access to children in high poverty communities

What are your thoughts?

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