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More Money, Increased Participation and Higher Nutritional Standards for School Meals

Thursday, March 18, 2010 Diet & Nutrition News J E 4
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The Child Nutrition Initiative Supports Expansion and Renewal of the Child Nutrition Act

WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Susan Markham of the Child Nutrition Initiative:

The Child Nutrition Initiative commends U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, for her introduction today of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act).

As the Agriculture Committee and ultimately the full Senate undertakes consideration of Senator Lincoln's Act, the Initiative desires to see that every effort is made to increase the overall budget of the Child Nutrition Act while maximizing participation in the school meals programs and improving nutritional standards for school meals and competitive foods.

A poll conducted by the Initiative shows strong bipartisan support by the American public for expanding child nutrition programs that provide lunch and breakfast to children in nearly 100 percent of public schools. Key findings of the survey include:

The full survey results are available at http://www.schoolmealsmatter.org/act/survey.php.

Child Nutrition Initiative, a public education and advocacy campaign to bring attention to child nutrition issues and support a robust 2010 Child Nutrition Act. The initiative is being funded with the generous support of the New Venture Fund, the California Endowment and other private donors.

-- Fundamental belief in the country that schools play an important role in protecting children's health. 82 percent of Americans believe schools have a responsibility to make sure children are eating properly throughout the school day. -- Public's core values about child nutrition translate into nearly universal support for programs that deliver meals to the nation's kids. 83 percent of Americans support expanding the Child Nutrition Act to "provide healthier food and cover more kids." -- Support remains extraordinarily high after adding price tag. 71 percent of Americans support increasing funding for the Child Nutrition Act by $1 billion annually over the next 10 years. -- In this era of intense partisanship in Washington, child nutrition stands out as receiving uniquely strong bipartisan support. Support for expansion is strongly bipartisan with 85 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans in favor of the increase.

SOURCE Child Nutrition Initiative
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