Child nutrition bill signed into lawU.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced this week that the president signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced this week that the president signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
The bipartisan legislation is aimed at combating childhood obesity and the law includes many of Klobuchar's provisions to strengthen nutritional standards and promote healthy lifestyles for children. The law overhauls the major domestic food assistance programs that serve the nutritional needs of 29 million American children.
“Millions of kids rely on these programs for meals everyday and ensuring that they have access to nutritious food is important not only for their own well-being, but for the well-being of our nation,” Klobuchar said. “With one in four children either overweight or obese before starting kindergarten, it is clear that the health of our kids is in jeopardy. This legislation will help combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles early to ensure our kids have a promising future.”
The legislation reauthorizes the nutrition programs that are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The programs work to provide a nutritional safety net for children and include the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
Childhood health has become a national health issue and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every three children in the United States between the ages of two and 19 is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.
The legislation includes a Klobuchar initiative that calls for changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program to improve nutrition standards for meals served in the program and provides health education and guidance for child-care providers. The law, Klobuchar said, will promote children’s health by requiring that the U.S. Department of Agriculture develop nutrition standards consistent with the dietary guidelines for all food served in the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Additionally, the law will simplify the administration of the program to ensure greater access for families and reduced administrative cost, she added.
The law also includes provisions authored by Klobuchar that increase transparency and accountability for Local Wellness Policies. The provisions will require local educational agencies to develop implementation plans for nutrition education and promotion as well as physical activity in schools. The law also ensures that these policies are made readily available to parents.