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Bipartisan Senate nutrition bill targets schools

Two Senators introduced a bill to fund nutrition education in schools in an effort to combat diet-related illnesses.

On February 13, Sens. Cory Booker, D-NJ, and John Cornyn, R-TX, introduced the Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act of 2020 that would provide federal funding for education on healthy eating with priority given to schools in areas that are high in childhood diet-related illnesses and areas where a large number of students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.

“We must do more to ensure our kids have consistent and equitable access to healthy foods, and the education that will help them make healthy diet choices throughout their lives,” Booker said in a statement. “By prioritizing communities disproportionately impacted by food insecurity and diet-related illnesses, this bipartisan legislation would bring equitable access to food and nutrition education to children across the country.”

“Teaching students how to prioritize their health by choosing nutritious foods is an invaluable lesson that will serve them for years to come,” Cornyn said in a statement. “This legislation would invest in programs that educate Texas children to make healthy choices, which can help lower the incidence of disease linked to obesity and, in turn, save taxpayer money.”

Mollie Van Lieu, Senior Director of Nutrition Policy for the United Fresh Produce Association BB #:145458, said, “It’s always good news when lawmakers come together to see the short and long-term value of healthier eating.”

“This builds upon our belief and policy priorities that at the national level we must recognize schools’ roles in reversing the nation’s obesity epidemic. Nearly 42 million meals are eaten in schools daily. Setting strong nutrition standards for those meals, providing nutrition education, employing well-qualified school nutrition professionals, giving kids enough time to eat, and ensuring schools have adequate funding to purchase high quality foods like fresh fruits and vegetables – are all integral components to putting kids on the right path.”

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services