SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., Oct. 21, 2010 - Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton today visited Geyser Road Elementary School to see firsthand its approach to creating healthy school meals and a healthy environment. During her visit, Thornton discussed the Obama administration's efforts to enhance school meals and the health of America's children.
"Improving school lunches is a priority for the Obama administration in its efforts to combat childhood obesity," said Thornton. "It was great to see the efforts made by the Saratoga Springs City School District in moving from processed food to fresh, whole foods made from scratch."
Thornton sat down to lunch with Kindergartners and first graders where the menu focused on whole foods, locally sourced with an emphasis on whole grains, fruits and vegetables and legumes. Last year the District forged a unique partnership with the Saratoga Farmers' Market, resulting in more locally grown, fresh produce on school lunch menus. Beginning November 6, a winter market will operate out of one of the District's schools.
During her visit, Thornton highlighted the opportunities for improving the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs through the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.
Improving USDA's child nutrition programs on behalf of nearly 32 million kids across the nation is a top priority of the Obama Administration. Strengthening the Child Nutrition Act, which authorizes USDA's child nutrition programs including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. This legislation will serve as a down payment in battling hunger and food insecurity while providing critical resources to raise a generation of healthy children.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger.