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Alexa Marrero or
Telephone: (202) 225-4527
President Bush Signs Legislation to Renew School Lunch & Child Nutrition Programs
Newly Signed Law Will Help States Fight Growing Child Obesity Epidemic and Prevent Hunger Among Vulnerable Children and Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Bush this week signed into law the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act, legislation that will renew and strengthen federal child nutrition and school lunch programs and help local communities work with parents to fight America’s growing child obesity problem. The legislation also includes provisions to improve the financial integrity of the school lunch and WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) programs and ensure the resources being invested in these programs reach the children and families they are intended to serve.
The measure signed into law by the President is a bipartisan House-Senate agreement based largely on the provisions of the Child Nutrition Improvement & Integrity Act (H.R. 3873), legislation authored by House Education Reform Subcommittee Chairman Mike Castle (R-DE) and passed by the House in March with strong bipartisan support.
“During visits to schools over the past several years, I have noticed the growing number of obese children. We all recognize the fact that obesity has reached epidemic proportions in our nation. Most recently, the Centers for Disease Control announced that obesity is on its way to becoming the leading cause of preventable deaths in the nation by 2005,” said Castle.
“Defeating this crisis will require the work of many, including schools, parents, government, the health community, and industry. My legislation includes important steps to promote comprehensive solutions to child health and nutrition, including provisions to promote nutrition education and physical activity at the state and local level. It also encourages school districts to establish local wellness policies, including goals for nutrition education and physical activity, and include nutrition guidelines for foods sold in schools,” continued Castle. “It is my hope that these wellness policies will serve as a catalyst for encouraging a larger dialogue on how to combat obesity.”
“Children and families depend on federal child nutrition programs, and they depend on us to ensure these programs are being administered with integrity,” said Education & the Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner (R-OH). “I commend Chairman Castle for his leadership not only in writing this bill, but in bringing Democrats and Republicans together to send it to the President on behalf of our nation’s children.”
The legislation signed into law by President Bush will:
A summary of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act can be viewed online at http://edworkforce.house.gov/issues/108th/education/childnutrition/billsummaryfinal.htm.
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