Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Open Letter to Congress Regarding Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Dear Congress,

In the Senate’s version of CNR and it appears all the money for the allocation ($450 million a year x 10 years) is coming out of the Agriculture budget for Conservation. This seems a bit crazy to take from conservation efforts to pay for school meals; sort of like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Is it too much to look outside of the “lunch box” and find additional funding for school nutrition outside of AG money.

At the Childhood Obesity Summit at the White House on Friday the administration officials who attended included Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. In order to effectively tackle the childhood obesity problem Congress needs to look for CNR funding from many different sources including the agencies of the members of the President’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity. While school meals is only part of the equation it is a very important part since school meals feeds 31.5 million school children a day. Many of these children rely on school meals as their ONLY nutrition of the day.

Here are three actions you can take to urge your Members of Congress to invest additional funding to improve access to nutrition assistance for low-income children and achieve the goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015.

1. Ask your Representatives to sign on the “Dear Colleague” letter (pdf). This letter is being circulated by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO). It urges Speaker Nancy Pelosi to help identify funding sources for the $1 billion per year funding increase that President Obama has proposed for Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
2. Contact your members on the Senate Finance (pdf) and Agriculture (pdf) Committees and Senate leadership. Urge them to invest additional funding to improve access to nutrition assistance for low-income children and achieve the goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015. If your Senators are not on one of these target committees, you should still urge them to weigh in with committee members and leadership about the need for additional funding.
3. Contact your members on the House Education and Labor (pdf) and Ways and Means (pdf) Committees and House leadership. Urge them to work towards President Obama's commitment of $10 billion/10 years to improve access to nutrition assistance for low-income children.

Part of this blog note was provided by The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States.

Thank you for your support of our child nutrition programs!

Chef Tim

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chef Tim!

    We really enjoy your blog!

    I was wondering if the following notice could be posted to your readers?

    Congress is writing a new law that would help schools provide healthier food for their students.
    Now we need your help! Learn how to lobby Congress and stand up for your health and the health of your family and all young people.

    The Healthy School Meals Act of 2010, H.R. 4870 can help reverse America’s childhood obesity epidemic by enabling schools across the country to provide healthier options in the lunch line. The more people who call Congress on April 21, the greater the impact we can have. Tell your Member of Congress why YOU want healthy school meals.

    Tuesday, April 20: Get ready by joining PCRM’s Elizabeth Kucinich on a
    national conference call to learn about the Healthy School Meals Act and
    how to lobby your Member of Congress.

    Wednesday, April 21: Call to ask your Member of Congress in
    Washington, D.C., to support the Healthy School Meals Act.

    Learn more and sign up at


    Keep up the great work!

    Many thanks!