USDA Visit Concentrates On Kids

USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton highlighted the Obama Administration’s priorities for improving school meals and the health of children across the nation. Thornton was in Kissimmee, FL, speaking to local and state nutrition officials at a roundtable discussion at Central Avenue Elementary School and emphasized the importance of renewing the Child Nutrition Act and advocated for a strong reauthorization bill to reduce hunger and improve the health and nutrition of our nation’s children.

“USDA and the Obama Administration are committed to rapid passage of a strong reauthorization bill to improve the health and nutrition of our nation’s children,” said Thornton. “This year we have an unprecedented opportunity to make our programs stronger and more accessible to millions of children in need. We will continue to seek ways to improve the quality of our school meal programs, increase participation rates and ensure schools have the resources they need. We must do this not only for our children, but for the future of our country.”

Improving the Child Nutrition Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. The campaign has four primary tenets: helping parents make healthy family choices; serving healthier food in schools; improving access to healthy, affordable food; and increasing physical activity of kids. Already, the administration has announced its plans to improve school meals, a financing initiative to reduce food deserts, new research tools that detail local food environments and health outcomes, including grocery store access and disease and obesity prevalence, in addition to a broad range of public/private partnerships to solve America’s childhood obesity epidemic. Learn more by visiting www.LetsMove.gov.

Every five years, Congress considers improvements to the Child Nutrition Act. The Obama Administration has proposed a historic investment of an additional $10 billion over ten years starting in 2011 that will allow for the improvement of the quality of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, including training for school food service workers, upgraded kitchen equipment, and additional funding for meal reimbursements for schools that are enhancing nutrition and quality. Additionally, this investment will allow additional fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat and fat free dairy products to be served in our school cafeterias and an additional one million students to be served the healthy diets in school.

Thornton outlined USDA’s priorities for the Child Nutrition Act which include:

  • Improve nutrition standards. Establishing improved nutrition standards for school meals based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and taking additional steps to ensure compliance with these standards;
  • Increase access to meal programs. Providing tools to increase participation in the school nutrition programs, streamline applications, and eliminate gap periods;
  • Increase education about healthy eating. Providing parents and students better information about school nutrition and meal quality;
  • Establish standards for competitive foods sold in schools. Creating national baseline standards for all foods sold in elementary, middle, and high schools to ensure they contribute effectively to a healthy diet;
  • Serve more healthy food. Promoting increased consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low- and fat-free dairy products and providing additional financial support in the form of reimbursement rate increases for schools that enhance nutrition and quality;
  • Increase physical activity. Strengthening school wellness policy implementation and promoting physical activity in schools;
  • Train people who prepare school meals. Ensuring that child nutrition professionals have the skills to serve top-quality meals that are both healthful and appealing to their student customers;
  • Provide schools with better equipment. Helping schools with financial assistance to purchase equipment needed to produce healthy, attractive meals.
  • Enhance food safety. Expanding the current requirements of the food safety program to all facilities where food is stored, prepared and served.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger.

Visit www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance program.
 

Source: USDA news release

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

FruitsClassic Turkey Day Dinner Costing Consumers More This Year
November 20, 2014
Despite increase, a family of 10 can still get stuffed for less than $50. Read More
Insect ControlFlorida Vegetable Growers Gain Access To New Nematicide
November 20, 2014
Methyl bromide alternative Nimitz approved for use on tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplant, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, and squash. Read More
EquipmentHighlights From EIMA International In Italy [Slideshow]
November 19, 2014
The 2014 edition of the International Agricultural and Gardening Machinery Exhibition (EIMA) boasted a record number of attendees from 124 countries. Read More
Farm ManagementVegetableGrowerConnect Delivers Results For Growers And Suppliers [slideshow]
November 19, 2014
Suppliers and growers got down to business in San Diego discussing current needs, solutions, and ways to increase efficiencies on the farm. Browse this slideshow for VegetableGrowerConnect highlights. Read More
FruitsFixing Farm Labor Woes Worth The Extra Effort [Opinion]
November 19, 2014
40th annual Ag Labor Relations Forum encourages outreach and action. Read More
BerriesPackaging Company’s Campaign To Benefit Future Organic Farmers
November 19, 2014
Sambrailo Packaging of Watsonville, CA, has partnered with California Certified Organic Farmers and will donate a portion of the sales of clamshells made from plastic bottles. Read More
Apples & PearsOn The Road With The International Fruit Tree Association Study Tour To Italy Part 1 [Slideshow]
November 19, 2014
Win Cowgill of Rutgers University details a trip through the one of the most concentrated fruit growing areas in the world, the South Tyrol region of Italy. Read More
IrrigationAlmond Grower Honored For Water Efficiency
November 18, 2014
Ongoing drought highlights the efforts of third-generation Madera County grower Tom Rogers. Read More
CitrusWomen’s Impact On Agriculture Impressive [Opinion]
November 18, 2014
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the long-term sustainability of farming depends on our youth. Read More
Apples & PearsFall Sprays For BMSB Can Cause San Jose Scale Flare Up
November 18, 2014
Penn State University research entomologist says prevention is best control option for devastating pest. Read More

The Latest

FruitsClassic Turkey Day Dinner Costing Consumers More This Y…
November 20, 2014
Despite increase, a family of 10 can still get stuffed for less than $50. Read More
Insect ControlFlorida Vegetable Growers Gain Access To New Nematicide
November 20, 2014
Methyl bromide alternative Nimitz approved for use on tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplant, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, and squash. Read More
EquipmentHighlights From EIMA International In Italy [Slideshow]
November 19, 2014
The 2014 edition of the International Agricultural and Gardening Machinery Exhibition (EIMA) boasted a record number of attendees from 124 countries. Read More
Farm ManagementVegetableGrowerConnect Delivers Results For Growers And…
November 19, 2014
Suppliers and growers got down to business in San Diego discussing current needs, solutions, and ways to increase efficiencies on the farm. Browse this slideshow for VegetableGrowerConnect highlights. Read More
FruitsFixing Farm Labor Woes Worth The Extra Effort [Opinion]
November 19, 2014
40th annual Ag Labor Relations Forum encourages outreach and action. Read More
BerriesPackaging Company’s Campaign To Benefit Future Organi…
November 19, 2014
Sambrailo Packaging of Watsonville, CA, has partnered with California Certified Organic Farmers and will donate a portion of the sales of clamshells made from plastic bottles. Read More
Apples & PearsOn The Road With The International Fruit Tree Associati…
November 19, 2014
Win Cowgill of Rutgers University details a trip through the one of the most concentrated fruit growing areas in the world, the South Tyrol region of Italy. Read More
IrrigationAlmond Grower Honored For Water Efficiency
November 18, 2014
Ongoing drought highlights the efforts of third-generation Madera County grower Tom Rogers. Read More
CitrusWomen’s Impact On Agriculture Impressive [Opinion…
November 18, 2014
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the long-term sustainability of farming depends on our youth. Read More
Apples & PearsFall Sprays For BMSB Can Cause San Jose Scale Flare Up
November 18, 2014
Penn State University research entomologist says prevention is best control option for devastating pest. Read More
CitrusPrograms Burgeon To Promote Citrus Plantings
November 17, 2014
Processors and USDA step up to support growers who are putting new trees in the ground. Read More
Business PlanningFarm Executive Workshop To Build Management, Leadership…
November 17, 2014
Penn State Extension offering unique learning event for those looking to bolster business. Read More
BerriesGeorgia Is The Top Blueberry State In The Nation
November 17, 2014
The Peach State experiences extreme growth in production of blueberries in the last 20 years. Read More
GrapesSenator Launches Campaign To Open Foreign Markets To Mo…
November 17, 2014
If tariff is reduced, exporters could buy more; would help alleviate surplus grape supply. Read More
Apples & PearsPromising Technology To Expand Hard Cider Industry
November 14, 2014
Demand growing as researchers explore the possibilities of mechanical harvesting. Read More
Grapefruit & SpecialtyFlorida Grapefruit Growers Feeling Good About Early Cro…
November 14, 2014
Producers, packers, and suppliers view initial USDA outlooks as positive predictor for future. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateScientists Track Scent To Successful Citrus Psyllid Con…
November 14, 2014
New research identifies odors that could help in the fight against HLB. Read More
GrapesReport Card Measures Juice Grape Growers’ Sustainabil…
November 14, 2014
Washington growers will be able to self-assess their production systems. Read More