Summary of Senate Ag Committee's child nutrition bill


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By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, March 24 - As approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday in a unanimous voice vote, Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln's “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” includes provisions adding $4.5 billion over the next 10 years through:

A Path to End Childhood Hunger: $1.2 billion

·   Expanding Afterschool Meals for At-Risk Children Nationwide

For the vast majority of states, the CACFP at-risk afterschool program only provides reimbursement for a snack. This section would give communities in all 50 states the ability to be reimbursed for a meal.

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·   Expanding Universal Meal Service through Community Eligibility

This new option will allow schools in high-poverty areas to offer free meals to all students without collecting paper applications, which will expand access to more children and reduce administrative burdens on schools.

·   Connecting More Eligible Low-Income Children with School Meals

Children whose families receive SNAP benefits are directly certified for free school meals. This provision would expand the direct certification process to include Medicaid in select districts in the U.S.

·   Performance Bonuses for Direct Certification

This section would establish performance benchmarks for states to improve their direct certification methods, as well as provide incentive bonuses to states to incentivize improved performance.

·   Categorical Eligibility of Foster Children

This section would add foster children to the list of those that are automatically eligible for free meals, eliminating the need for foster children to demonstrate their income when applying for school meal benefits.

·   Promoting the Availability and Locations of Summer Food Service Program Meal Sites

Requires school food authorities to coordinate with institutions operating the Summer Food Service Program to develop and distribute materials to families to inform them of the availability and location of summer meal sites.

·   Piloting Innovative Methods to Feed Hungry, Low-Income Children

Provides mandatory funding to test pilot projects to improve the way we feed hungry children, including during out-of- school times.

Promoting Health and Reducing Childhood Obesity: $3.2 billion

·   Helping Schools Improve the Nutritional Quality of School Meals

A performance-based increase in the federal reimbursement rate for school lunches - 6 cents per meal - will help schools meet new meal standards to provide children with healthier school meals.

·   National Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools

This section would provide the Secretary of Agriculture with the authority to establish national nutrition standards for all foods sold on school campus throughout the school day.

·   Promoting Nutrition and Wellness in Child Care Settings

This section establishes nutrition requirements for child care providers participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, as well as providing guidance and technical assistance to help providers improve the health of young children.

·   Connecting More Children to Healthy Local Produce through Farm-to-School Programs

Provides mandatory funding for schools to establish school gardens and to source local foods into school cafeterias.

For coverage of committee mark-up of the bill, go to: 

To read the complete 187-page bill text along with more detailed summaries and copies of current proposed amendments, go to and scroll to the bottom of the page.

For other Agri-Pulse news stories, go to:


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