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|Release No. 0512.11|
|USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623|
|USDA Celebrates One Year Anniversary of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010|
|Department Takes Historic Steps to Stem Hunger, Improve Nutrition and Curb Obesity for Nation's Children|
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2011 — First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today highlighted the achievements of the historic Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, one year after the legislation was enacted to combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation's children.
"The success of our nation tomorrow depends on the choices we make for our kids today. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is vital to the health and welfare of our kids, helping them build the healthy futures they deserve," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "We've seen the connection between what our kids eat and how well they perform in school. And we know that America's success in the 21st century means having the best-prepared and best-educated workforce around. So it is critical that we work to ensure that all children have the basic nutrition they need to learn, grow, and to pursue their dreams. As we celebrate the many accomplishments of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act's first year, we also pledge to continue taking bold steps forward to advance this goal."
"The strength of our communities, our economy, and our national security, rely on the health of our children," said Vilsack. "The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act strengthens the school nutrition environment, expands access to healthy meals, and simplifies processes so every child can receive a well-balanced school meal. And today, we celebrate those important accomplishments and look forward to those achievements which are still to come."
The Act makes many critical improvements to the child nutrition programs that serve millions of children across our country each day. It provides for improved access to nutrition assistance to make it easier for children to get nutritious meals when they are away from home. The legislation also improves the entire nutrition environment in schools and will enhance understanding of the causes and consequences of hunger and food insecurity among children The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 advances the goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation, which is at the heart of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative.
USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon said, "School nutrition improvements are an investment in our children's future. By working together, USDA and its partners can make these changes happen to feed every child the nutritious food they deserve – to excel and thrive in their lives."
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 marked a great win for the nearly 32 million school children that participate in the National School Lunch and the 12 million school children that participate in the School Breakfast Programs each school day. USDA is working to implement historic reforms that will mark the most comprehensive change to food in schools in more than a generation. USDA's efforts to improve and enhance the school food environment include: updated school meals nutrition standards to increase fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy; science-based standards for all foods and beverages sold on the school campus; performance-based funding increases for schools – the first real increase in 30 years; and training and technical assistance to help schools meet improved standards.
Key accomplishments from the Act in the first year include:
Key accomplishments from the Act expected in the coming year and beyond:
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