Bennet: Child Nutrition Bill Will Help Keep Colorado Kids Healthier, Better Prepared for School and Life

Several Bennet-Backed Measures Among Bill's Key Features

Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, applauded the Senate’s passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to reduce childhood hunger, promote health through improved nutritional quality, reduce childhood obesity and improve program efficiency. The bipartisan, fiscally responsible bill, which passed the Senate unanimously, has broad support among public health groups and child advocates across Colorado.

“At a time when childhood obesity rates are skyrocketing and child poverty is increasing, this bill couldn’t be more important,” Bennet said. “For kids to be successful in the classroom they must be well nourished—kids who eat right, learn better. Passage of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act is an example of the Senate doing exactly what it is should—delivering for our kids.”

Governor Bill Ritter said, “I applaud the Senate for its approval of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, and especially Senator Bennet for his innovative contributions to this bill.  In Colorado we are making significant progress in providing nutritious meals to needy children. I hope the House will take quick action so we can continue on our path of ensuring that all children in Colorado have the good nutrition they need to reach their full potential.” 

“Senate approval of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 is a huge win for Colorado kids. We know that good nutrition is closely tied to child health and academic achievement. Healthy kids are better learners and this legislation will go a long way to ensuring all students have access to the nutritious foods they need to be successful in school and to grow up healthy and strong. We applaud Senator Bennet and his colleagues for making this important investment in our children and our future and we look forward to working with members of the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure this critical bill is passed before kids go back to school this fall,” Chris Watney, President, Colorado Children’s Campaign.

“The reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act is crucial to ensuring that thousands of low income children receive nutritional meals at school that they would otherwise go without. At a time when Colorado’s child poverty and childhood obesity rates are increasing we applaud Senator Bennet’s work to support legislation that will address both of these significant challenges,” said Dr. James Shmerling CEO, The Children’s Hospital Colorado.

“The United States Senate delivered on behalf of the nation’s children.  With the passage of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, children across the state of Colorado will enjoy the benefits of healthy, fresh and nutritious foods in their schools.  As the data make clear, that means children in school will be performing at a higher level.  Most importantly, passage of this landmark legislation means healthier, happier children.  On behalf of the Colorado Health Foundation and the communities we are privileged to serve, we applaud this effort by the United States Senate,” Anne Warhover, president and CEO of The Colorado Health Foundation.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 makes monumental investments that will reduce childhood obesity, and childhood hunger. The bill streamlines enrollment in summer, afterschool and school meal programs, improves program access, increases reimbursements to schools that provide healthier meals, and strengthens local school wellness policies while raising standards for foods sold in schools and promoting farm-to-school efforts.

Bennet cosponsored several measures within the bill—the Hunger Free Schools Act, The Promoting Child Health and Protecting School Lunch Act and the Growing Farm to Schools Program Act—versions of which were included in the final package. He also authored a State Childhood Hunger Challenge Grants Provision, which was adopted in committee and included in the bill.

Specifically, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 will:

  • Expand afterschool meals for at-risk children
  • Connect more eligible low-income children with school meals
  • Help schools improve the nutritional quality of school meals
  • Allow establishment of science-based national nutritional standards for all food sold in schools
  • Strengthen local school wellness policies
  • Help schools protect their food service budgets
  • Improve accuracy of school meal eligibility certifications
  • Improve food safety requirements for school meals programs

For more information on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, please click here.