The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010
Many of the price increases seen in school cafeterias this year can be attributed to the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 that was signed into law by President Obama last December. This act, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, takes a number of steps to ensure school-age children get the proper nutrition and that families that cannot afford school lunches receive federal assistance in this area. According to the USDA Food and Nutrition website, the programs impacted by the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act include:
- National School Lunch Program
- School Breakfast Program
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
- Summer Food Service Program
- Child and Adult Care Food Service Program
- The Secretary of Agriculture now has the authority to establish nutritional standards for all public schools across the country
- Nutritional requirements by the Secretary of Agriculture will include more whole grains and fresh produce, and less starchy and high-fat items.
- Schools must limit milk offerings to low-fat options
- Schools must provide access to free water for students during meal times
- Schools that adhere to the new nutritional requirements will be awarded additional federal reimbursement
While some school lunches may be growing more expensive, giving a growing child healthier nutrition is certainly priceless.