The Senate Agriculture Committee passed bipartisan legislation, “Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act,” that provides $20 billion and reauthorizes various child nutrition programs (school lunch, school breakfast, Summer Feeding Program, WIC, etc.).
The legislation continues much of the increased school nutrition requirements of the current “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” that was a priority of the First Lady and the administration. However, the new legislation provides relief to school districts by lowering the whole grain-rich products requirement from 100% to 80% and delays the “Type 2” sodium reduction requirement for the School Lunch Program until 2019.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee says, “This legislation ensures programs use taxpayer dollars more efficiently, gives local schools more flexibility in meeting standards, and focuses on fraud and error prevention. We have a comprehensive and inclusive product including the concerns of school nutrition professionals, students, producers and public health groups.”
The bill received support from the School Nutrition Association, National Milk Producers Federation, American Heart Association, and American Farm Bureau Federation.