The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) offered a very positive reaction to President Barack Obama's signing of the The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law this morning (Dec. 13). FRAC also applauded President Obama's commitment to fix the cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that came with the passage of the Act. Read the full remarks that Obama and the First Lady made about hunger, obesity and nutrition.
Here's what FRAC had to say:
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has many important and excellent provisions for child nutrition programs, including many FRAC has been working toward for a long time. While many of these provisions will take time to implement, there are many that you can start working on right now.
FRAC also offers eight relevant facts about the Act:
- Every state will be able to participate in the Afterschool Meal Program, allowing afterschool programs in low-income areas in all states to receive federal funding to serve a full meal, and retroactive funding may be available.
- Federally-funded jobs in state child nutrition and WIC agencies must now be excluded from state lay-offs and furloughs.
- Nonprofits will be able to serve Summer Food at more sites and to more low-income children.
- New paperless options for universal meal service will mean that more schools with high percentages of low-income students will be able to feed all children at no charge.
- Children may now be certified to receive WIC benefits for a full year at a time, rather than six months.
- Less paperwork will make it easier for parents and family child care providers to enroll in the child care food programs, and so assure that more children have healthy food in child care.
- Nutrition education resources may be made available at no cost for parents and child care providers participating in the child care food program.
- USDA is required to make significant nutrition improvements in school meals and eliminate junk food from vending machines.