Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. According to the fact sheet released by the government, the intention of the bill is to “provide children with healthier and more nutritious food options, educate children about making healthy food choices, and teach children healthy habits that can last a lifetime.”

Here are a few of the positive things the bill does. (Check out the fact sheet for an expanded list.)

  • Gives USDA the authority to set nutritional standards for all foods regularly sold in schools during the school day, including vending machines, the “a la carte” lunch lines, and school stores.
  • Provides additional funding to schools that meet updated nutritional standards for federally-subsidized lunches. This is an historic investment, the first real reimbursement rate increase in over 30 years.
  • Helps communities establish local farm-to-school networks, create school gardens, and ensures that more local foods are used in the school setting.
  • Sets basic standards for school wellness policies including goals for nutrition promotion and education and physical activity, while still permitting local flexibility to tailor the policies to their particular needs.
  • Requires schools to make information more readily available to parents about the nutritional quality of meals.
President Obama took the stage at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C., for a few remarks before signing the bill, and then he turned the microphone over to Michelle Obama. The First Lady’s Let’s Move agenda can be credited for bringing much needed attention to the need for an overhaul of our school lunch program and the need to focus on improving the health of children.

Whitehouse.gov has a complete transcript of the remarks made at the signing of the bill, or you can listen to them as you watch the video below.

My favorite part? These words by Michelle Obama.

We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams, because in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing. And our hopes for their future should drive every single decision that we make. 

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