1. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today unveiled the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 last Wednesday, March 17th.
2. Bill includes 5 years of funding for federal child nutrition programs of WIC, NSLP & NSBP.
3. Bill provides $4.5 billion in new child nutrition program funding over ten years, a significant increase over previous efforts. The highest previous increase was $500 million over ten years.
4. The $4.5 billion in increased funding would be divided, with $1.2 billion going to increasing the number of children who receive free and reduced price meals and $3.2 billion going to improvements in the quality of meals and fighting childhood obesity.
5. This legislation will also mark the first time since the inception of the National School Lunch Program that Congress has dedicated this level of resources to increasing the program’s reimbursement rate.
6. Lincoln said the bill would pay for itself through a $2.2 billion shift in the environmental quality assistance program.
7. Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) supports the bill.
8. The $4.5 billion increase is less than half of the $10 billion-over-10-years increase that President Obama proposed in his fiscal year 2011 budget, but Lincoln said it would provide “a path” to achieve Obama’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015.
9. The provisions included in Lincoln’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture, through a transparent regulatory process, to establish national nutrition standards consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for all foods sold on school campuses throughout the school day. Including soda, vending machines and other loopholes.