LEXINGTON PARK, Md., Feb. 1, 2011 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan joined U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) today at George Washington Carver Elementary School in Lexington Park, Md. to highlight the rapid implementation and importance of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, signed into law by President Obama. The legislation reauthorizes USDA’s child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs and is already providing benefits to children across the country.
“This legislation is important because it will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children,” Merrigan said. “After President Obama signed this historic legislation to improve the health and nutrition of kids across America, we have been working tirelessly to implement and deliver results to those who could benefit from this new law.”
Carver Elementary was selected because of five elementary schools in St. Mary’s County with more than 50 percent of students eligible for free and reduced price school lunches, Carver Elementary School—with 76.32 percent—has the greatest number of eligible students.
In addition, Carver participates in MD Meals for Achievement (in-classroom breakfast program), the after-school snack component of the National School Lunch Program, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. States have limited funding for the FFVP and must choose schools with the highest need.
“It’s vital that we provide our kids the nutritious food they need to grown and learn and thrive,” Merrigan said. “This bill will help ensure our kids have the energy and the capacity to reach their potential and compete with their peers worldwide.”
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs. Improving child nutrition is also a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that recently passed Congress and was signed by President Obama on December 13, 2010. This legislation authorizes USDA’S child nutrition programs, including the Summer Food Service Program
and the National School Lunch Program
, which serves nearly 32 million children each day. It will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. To learn more, visit www.LetsMove.gov
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