KHF Statement on Child Nutrition Standards

January 25, 2016

The following is a statement by KHF President and CEO Steve Coen regarding the bi-partisan agreement recently reached at the federal level on child nutrition programs.

Recently, our lawmakers took a huge step in working together from both sides of the aisle and reauthorizing child nutrition programs in our country. The Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously passed the “Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016.”

The Kansas Health Foundation is pleased with the results of this bipartisan effort. This reauthorizes child nutrition programs such as school lunches and summer meals. Through this process, the Kansas Health Foundation appreciates Congress for keeping science-based nutrition standards strong and for prioritizing children’s health.

Other highlights include:

  • Expanding access to summer meals;
  • Providing $30 million per year for school equipment grants, allowing schools to get the kitchen equipment they need; and
  • Providing $10 million per year in Farm-To-School grants and allows those operating Summer Meals programs and Adult Care Food Programs to apply for the funds as well.

I frequently travel the state, visiting communities and learning about their health challenges and successes. This includes hearing from food service directors and their experiences with nutrition standards. I can tell you they work tirelessly to improve nutrition and satisfy children’s tastes. Just like these food service directors, we need to remember a bill like this is for health and wellbeing of our children, to give them the best environment to thrive.

There are a few more steps before the bill would be signed into law, a process KHF hopes to see accomplished in the near future.

We commend all who worked hard on this bill, including Sen. Pat Roberts and his staff who took time visiting schools and listening to Kansas stakeholders.


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