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Child Nutrition a Matter of National Security

By Megan Tempest in Food on Jun 8, 2010 3:20PM

Support for improved child nutrition programs is expanding and, as reported by the Chicago-based American Dietetic Association, coming from unlikely sources. The ADA reports that the Defense Authorization Bill includes support for the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, an opportunity that arises every five years. Programs affected by this include the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

According to the ADA, during house debate, 341 members voted for an amendment by representatives from Massachusetts, Missouri and Georgia, which emphasizes the impact of childhood hunger and obesity on military recruitment and encourages properly funding the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act. Although the amendment doesn’t guarantee funding for the reauthorization, the ADA considers it much needed momentum and support.

The “Sense of Congress” amendment states that “reducing domestic childhood obesity and hunger is a matter of national security…the Federal Child Nutrition Programs under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 should be funded at the President’s request; and the increases in funding for such program should be properly offset.”

The ADA reports that, within the last month, 221 members of Congress - a majority of the House - had sent letters to Speaker Nancy Pelosi in support of President Obama’s request for a $1 billion increase per year for the Child Nutrition Programs. Perhaps “Kids Write to Eat” made a difference.