DENVER, Dec. 1, 2010 —Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today visited the Fairmont Dual Immersion Academy to see firsthand the school's efforts to improve the quality of meals in the National School Lunch Program. The visit, conducted as Congress is considering legislation to pass the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, showcased the local school's efforts to improve meals.
"The upcoming days and months present us with an important opportunity to build a stronger future for our nation's children – to take big steps towards combating obesity and hunger – and to serve more nutritious food to tens of millions of America's kids," said Concannon. "With those goals in mind, the Obama Administration is urging Congress to pass this important legislation."
Since the early days of the Obama administration, it has been a priority for the President, the First Lady, and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to see a strong child nutrition bill signed into law. This summer, the Senate passed a Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill that would make significant improvements to the school lunch and school breakfast programs that serve millions of children across our country each day. The bill passed through the Senate unanimously, garnering significant praise from members of both parties. More than 1000 organizations from all 50 states -- representing public health experts, private sector companies, and faith-based and anti-hunger organizations -- wrote to the House of Representatives urging passage of this legislation.
Strengthening the Child Nutrition and National School Lunch Acts, which authorize 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 help battle hunger and food insecurity during the school day 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.