For Immediate Release: January 19, 2016
Trust for America’s Health Statement on Bipartisan Senate Agriculture Committee Compromise on Child Nutrition Reauthorization
Washington, D.C., January 19, 2016 – The following is a statement from Richard Hamburg, interim president and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), on the bipartisan compromise legislation introduced earlier this week by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
“The Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 is an important step toward ensuring healthier nutrition for all of the nation’s children. We applaud the committee leadership and staff for their hard work in achieving a compromise that will build on the important accomplishments that were made in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Around 15.5 million children experience food insecurity each year, with their access to adequate food and nutrition limited due to cost, proximity and/or other resources. At the same time, 17 percent of children are obese. There’s clearly still a lot of work to do to ensure this generation of children receive the support they need to thrive. In our annual State of Obesity report, TFAH highlights programs and policies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in states and localities that can help ensure all children have the chance to grow up with good nutrition. We know what works – but we need to keep moving forward and increasing support to realize the promise of these efforts.
This bill advances some important improvements by increasing investments in school kitchen equipment, Farm-to-School programs and other programs that help feed kids outside of traditional school settings. Unfortunately, there are some provisions in the bill that are not ideal and deviate from the evidence-base, such as not requiring 100 percent whole grains in school meals. But, on balance, the bill represents continued progress in the right direction.
We urge members of Congress to move forward with markup and embrace the spirit of compromise embodied in this legislation. TFAH stands ready to work with policymakers and partners to help ensure reauthorization legislation is best able to support our children, their families and schools.”
Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org