Senators Want Child Nutrition a Top Legislative Priority

July 14/Washington/US Fed News -- U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Congressman George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to make child nutrition reauthorization a top legislative priority before current programs expire on September 30 of this year.

Lincoln delivered the letter to the president during a meeting at the White House where she was joined by other Senate leaders to discuss legislative priorities before the August recess. Lincoln's "Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act" passed the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously in March and now awaits consideration by the full Senate. The House Education and Labor Committee will hold a mark up on its version of child nutrition reauthorization legislation the "Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act."

"As recent reports have shown, the occurrence of hunger and childhood obesity among our nation's children is unacceptably high-especially in my home state of Arkansas. We have an historic opportunity to put our country on a path toward ending childhood hunger and reversing the trend of childhood obesity with a strong child nutrition reauthorization. We cannot afford to make American children and families wait any longer for a bill that will make real progress toward ending childhood hunger and obesity. I know that the president shares my goal of addressing this important priority, and I ask him to please join our efforts to ensure that passage of child nutrition legislation is a top legislative priority in the coming months," said Lincoln.

"In this economy, millions of families rely on the child nutrition programs as a nutritional safety net for their children to ensure they are able to focus and learn in school. Children need healthy meals to be able to grow and thrive in the classroom and in life. If we allow our children's health to dwindle, if we allow more children to hungry by not taking swift action with this legislation, we fail our children, their families and the future of this country. We have a real opportunity to make dramatic reforms to help prevent hunger, to improve children's health and increase access to healthy meals. The health and academic success of an entire generation of children is at stake," said Miller.

From the July 15, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
For more of the latest news from the food and beverage industry, visit Prepared Foods' Daily News