Heres the key message: Its time to give America's kids a healthy future.
- Child obesity is spiraling out of control, and our kids, our economy, our health care system and our quality of life are at risk.
- It's time to act, starting when Congress updates the Child Nutrition Act this spring. Our best opportunity to fight obesity is to ensure that the 31 million children served by the National School Lunch Program all have access to fresh, wholesome food.
- Right now, Congress gives schools $2.68 per lunch, about $1.00 of which goes towards buying ingredients. As a result, schools have to rely on the cheap processed foods that are fueling the obesity and diabetes epidemics.
- President Obamas budget adds $1 billion per year to child nutrition programs. Thats an important step forward, but its not enough to give Americas kids a healthy future. Not when Congress spends over $13 billion per year subsidizing processed foods, and when obesity costs our nation $147 billion per year. Congress should add at least $1 billion to child nutrition programs, and recognize that until we give schools $1.00 more per lunch, were putting the health of Americas children at risk.
- Congress should also pass mandatory funding for Farm-to-School programs, which link schools to local farms, create jobs in local economies and give schools the resources to update their kitchens and plant school gardens.
- And finally, Congress should strengthen the nutrition standards for all the food sold at school, including the food sold in school vending machines and as "a la carte" items in the cafeteria.