Class Act: Good News for School Lunch
Monday, December 6, 2010
This Meal Planning Monday, I’m thinking about the kind of meal-planning that deeply affects all our children–but that we typically have little control over: the school lunch. Fortunately, because so many of us recently asked our representatives and senators to prioritize healthy school meals, I’ve got some good news to share.
Last week, the Senate voted in favor of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which reauthorizes the Child Nutrition Act and pumps an additional $4.5 billion into schools’ meal budgets over the next 10 years.
According to the Healthy Schools Campaign’s Susan Stewart, nutrition standards will improve, and schools will instate stronger, more consistent messaging to students about healthy food. She says the bill includes pilots for expansion of farm-to-school programs and organic food.
Numbers-wise, the new legislation means schools will also receive a 6-cent increase in reimbursements for each meal they provide. That’s the first reimbursement rate increase in over 30 years, says Colorado Congressman Jared Polis. He also points out that the bill allows 115,000 new students to access school meals programs and provides an additional 21 million meals to at-risk children annually through the after-school supper program.
So, let’s hear it for a victory in the healthy schools effort! And to all you healthy and fabulous moms who make healthy meals for picky kids every day, keep up the great work!