BigNews.biz: Bennet Pushes for Passage of Child Nutrition Legislation

Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, joined a bipartisan group of 53 Senators in sending a letter to Senate leadership urging that the Senate take up and pass landmark child nutrition legislation. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 will reduce childhood hunger, promote health through improved nutritional quality, reduce childhood obesity and improve program efficiency. This fiscally responsible legislation is entirely paid for.

“The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 represents an historic opportunity to enact legislation that enjoys broad bipartisan support and a strong grassroots backing among anti-hunger advocates, public health organizations, as well as many members of the food and beverage industry,” the Senators wrote in the letter. “With child nutrition programs scheduled to expire on September 30 of this year, time is of the essence. Accordingly, the Senate should take up and pass this legislation at the earliest possible convenience.”

This legislation will improve access to nutritious meals for kids in Colorado and make strides to improve child health and reduce obesity. In 2008, one in five children in the United States lived in food insecure households, and 17.2 percent of Colorado’s children lack access to enough food to meet their basic needs.

Many kids in Colorado are eligible for free or reduced-price meals but are not able to participate in such programs because of bureaucratic complications. This bill increases access to these programs by expanding automatic enrollment and reducing the paperwork necessary to enroll.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 makes monumental investments that will reduce childhood obesity, and childhood hunger. The bill streamlines enrollment in summer, afterschool and school meal programs, improves program access, increases reimbursements to schools that provide healthier meals, and strengthens local school wellness policies while raising standards for foods sold in schools and promoting farm-to-school efforts.

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