Friday, September 24, 2010

School Lunch vs. Food Stamps

FROM TRACIE POTTS AT NBC: As you're getting ready for school this morning and perhaps handing out lunch money -- or making sure there's enough in your child's account -- here's a story that'll affect what your kids eat at school. If congress doesn't act by next Friday, money will run out for the federal school lunch program.

Besides giving schools their first increase in over three decades, this bill would also require them to serve healthier food. but there are big concerns about how it's being paid for.
What Washington sends your school to help pay for lunch hasn't changed in over 30 years. Congress wants to bump that up by about a nickel per meal. It's still not enough. Fairfax County, Virginia loses 58 to 77 cents on every meal.

Penny McConnell/ Dir., Food & Nutrition services, Fairfax Co. public schools
"We're already adding fruits and vegetables, whole grains. It's raising our costs, but we're walking the talk." This new bill would require the government to eliminate junk food: in the lunchroom, in vending machines and at school events. Tom Vilsack/ Secretary of Agriculture "We find the political will to help small companies and small banks and now we're trying to ask the congress to try and find the political will to help small children."

Margo Wootan/ CSPI or Center for Science in the Public Interest "It's not enough to just stick an apple on the tray. If the child doesn't like an apple, they're not going to eat it. So you need to give them a few different choices."
The controversy.. is over how this four-and-a-half billion dollar program's being paid for - by cutting future food stamp benefits.

Rep. Kevin Mccarthy/ (R) California "We have more people depending on food stamps to feed their families than at any point in history." The Obama Administration argues those cuts won't happen for three years. But hungry kids need healthy, affordable school lunch today. The house could vote on this today. more than 100 democrats, the congressional black caucus, and unions oppose paying for it by cutting food stamps.

Are you in favor of putting some of the food stamp money toward school lunches or are you opposed to this idea?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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