Washington, D.C. – The House overwhelmingly passed the childhood nutrition bill yesterday, sending it to President Obama’s desk for signature. The Senate passed the bill unanimously last August. The Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act will reduce childhood obesity and strengthen programs dedicated to improving child nutrition. The bill will also provide $4.5 billion to improve the National School Lunch Program, promote the health benefits of breastfeeding, and establish new national nutritional standards to help children eat healthier foods at school. Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement:
“Our children should never have to worry about going hungry at school or that what they’re eating will harm their health. This bill will take on childhood obesity and child hunger by putting healthier food in our school cafeterias and will help millions of families who are struggling to provide school lunches and afterschool snacks for their kids.
“While I’m disappointed that the bill includes cuts to food stamps that would take effect in 2014, I am committed to working with my colleagues to resolve the issue. We have a responsibility not only to address childhood hunger, but also ensure that American families don’t go hungry either.”