Child Nutrition Bill Advances in Senate

Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan


America’s schools are one step closer to being junk-food-free today.

Congratulations to Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) for passing a strong child nutrition bill out of the Senate Agriculture Committee. This bipartisan bill contains numerous important steps to improve child nutrition and address childhood obesity, including a historic agreement between health groups and food and beverage companies to improve the nutritional quality of foods sold out of vending machines and other venues outside of school meals. Getting junk food out of schools is important for improving children’s diets and ensuring that those so-called competitive foods don’t undermine the school lunch program.

Although USDA regularly adjusts school meal reimbursement rates for inflation, this is the first time in four decades that Congress would provide an additional increase in funding. The reimbursement rate increase is supported by several other provisions that expand financial resources, increase technical support to schools, and strengthen compliance with school meal nutrition standards to ensure healthier school meals for children.