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United Fresh applauds as Senate passes child nutrition bill

by | August 05, 2010
WASHINGTON -- By unanimous consent, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S. 3307) passed the Senate Thursday afternoon, Aug. 5, receiving accolades from the United Fresh Produce Association.

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, introduced the legislation earlier this year, which will "expand access to the child nutrition programs to reduce childhood hunger, improve the nutritional quality of school meals to promote health and address childhood obesity," according to United.

"The drive for healthier kids through increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is something that United Fresh and the entire produce industry has pursued for many years now," United Fresh President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stenzel said in an Aug. 5 statement. "United Fresh commends Chairman Lincoln, ranking member Saxby Chambliss and the Senate Agriculture Committee and members of the Senate for their passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. This bill provides a clear road map for healthier school meals and greater access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables."

Important provisions in the bill reflect United Fresh priorities and recommendations, including an increased reimbursement of 6 cents per school lunch which is tied to serving healthier meals consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, including more fruits and vegetables. This is the first increase in the reimbursement rate in 40 years. The bill also provides more training for schools to serve healthier meals, and strengthens school wellness policies.

United Fresh also recognized first lady Michelle Obama's leadership in urging Senate passage of the Child Nutrition bill.

United Fresh and other members of the National Alliance for Nutrition & Activity Coalition urged the House of representatives to pass child nutrition legislation before the programs expire Sept. 30.