Congress Needs to Act Now on Child Nutrition

The clock is ticking. Current child nutrition programs at the Federal level are set to expire September 30. Time is running out for Congress to pass a reauthorization bill. Last month, the Senate-version of the bill passed. Called the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,” it was sponsored by Senator Blanche Lincoln and passed with unanimous approval. The House must act before the election recess.

The Senate version provides an additional $4.5 billion over the next decade for child nutrition programs. It sets new nutrition standards for healthier school meals. It increases the number of low-income children eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and increases the reimbursement rate to schools, which has not been increased since 1973. The House version, which has been approved by committee, goes even further by providing an additional $7.5 million.

Time has almost run out, and we hope that Congress can act before they go home.