Protect the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

3 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

As kids across the country are going back to school, Congress is also returning to work after a long summer break. There is a very real threat that members could pass a spending bill that would drastically undermine the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and restrict healthier meals for 22 million children who have been eating food with less salt, sugar and fat. I, along with moms, and dads, and educators across the country urge them to stand up for healthier school meals.

As a mom, childhood nutrition is one passion that’s very close to my heart. I’ve seen first-hand how food truly lays the foundation for a child’s future. Pediatricians and wellness experts confirm what I believe: when our children eat food that nourishes them—not just fills their bellies—they thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Image Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture, via Flickr

The bottom line is, when our kids eat better, they perform better in school, and are happier and healthier too.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 has helped kids across the country eat better at school. This act updated obsolete school nutrition standards from 1995 where there was no limit to how much sodium or trans fat could be in a school meal. The act helped give schools the resources to connect with local farms and gardens for fresh produce, and increased funding for free school lunch for low-income families. Thanks to this important piece of legislation, children are now eating 16% more vegetables and 23% more fruit.

We can only take steps towards progress if we continue moving forward. Unfortunately, there are opponents to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act who want to go back to square one. The School Nutrition Association claims that it’s too costly for schools to implement the updated nutrition standards and that it can be a challenge to get children to eat healthy options. Yet, with 91% of schools already implementing these changes, those obstacles clearly aren’t the issue. What is? Take a look at who’s funding the opposition: Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza, and Pepsico. The only thing costly about the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is all the orders these companies will lose as the standards continue to be implemented. 

Congress can either stand up against corporate interests and continue down a path of health and wellbeing, or take a giant step backwards. Please don’t let this happen. Join me in standing up for America’s children, their health, and the incredible potential better nutrition has for our future.

Join me in contacting your elected representative and school district and let them know you support the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Let your voice be heard!

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