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Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action and FED UP Filmmakers Stand Up for Nutrition Standards in American Schools

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action and FED UP Filmmakers Stand Up for Nutrition Standards in American Schools

By | May 28th, 2014 | FPA Blogs & News, Press Releases - Food Policy Action |

capitol-picture
Today, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Tom Colicchio, Head Judge, Top Chef, Food Policy Action; Laurie David, Executive Producer FED UP; Stephanie Soechtig, Director and Producer FED UP are imploring members of the House Appropriations Committee not to weaken nutrition standards in the Fiscal Year 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill. That bill is scheduled to be considered by the full committee tomorrow.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, May 28, 2014 Khristyn Brimmeier 202-525-3724 kbrimmier@globalstrategygroup.com Sara Lonardo 202-225-3661 Sara.lonardo@mail.house.gov Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action and FED UP Filmmakers Stand Up for Nutrition Standards in American Schools Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Tom Colicchio, Head Judge, Top Chef, Food Policy Action; Laurie David, Executive…


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, May 28, 2014 Khristyn Brimmeier 202-525-3724 kbrimmier@globalstrategygroup.com Sara Lonardo 202-225-3661 Sara.l...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Khristyn Brimmeier
202-525-3724
kbrimmier@globalstrategygroup.com

Sara Lonardo
202-225-3661
Sara.lonardo@mail.house.gov

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action and FED UP Filmmakers Stand Up for Nutrition Standards in American Schools

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Tom Colicchio, Head Judge, Top Chef, Food Policy Action; Laurie David, Executive Producer FED UP; Stephanie Soechtig, Director and  Producer FED UP are imploring members of the House Appropriations Committee not to weaken nutrition standards in the Fiscal Year 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill. That bill is scheduled to be considered by the full committee tomorrow. Last week Republicans on the Agriculture subcommittee voted to undo the progress made to make school meals healthier under the 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.

“For decades, our federal nutrition policies have been based on the principles of sound scientific research and evidence-based decision-making,” said DeLauro, a former chairwoman of the subcommittee responsible for funding the Agriculture Department, and champion for nutrition and anti-hunger programs.   “But House Republicans are attempting to put profits and politics before nutrition, and special interests before the interests of families and children. Adding white potatoes to the Supplemental Women with Infant Children Nutrition program would benefit industry, not children. Trying to waive requirements for schools to improve meals and remove unhealthy snack foods is a naked attempt to appease special interests. We have to do better.”

“As a father of 3 boys, and the son of a lunch lady from Elizabeth, New Jersey, this fight feels personal. House republicans like Congressmen David Valadao, Robert Aderholt and Jack Kingston should be ashamed that they are fighting to make school meals less nutritious,” said Colicchio, head judge on Top Chef and a founder of Food Policy Action. “If you are a mom, or you are a dad, and you are listening to this debate, you should be furious. These are your elected officials who are ignoring the childhood obesity epidemic and fighting instead for the profits of large food companies who are fueling their re-election bids.”

There are currently 15.9 million hungry children across the country, and for many the only two nutritious meals they are getting on a daily basis are at school. The opponents of reform often like to cite statistics about decreased participation or food waste as reasons for rolling back reforms. However, according to the USDA 91 percent of school systems are in compliance with the new guidelines, and in many population segments, including low-income school districts, there has been an increase not a decrease in participation in school meals.

“Noted obesity expert Dr. Kelly Brownell charges that schools should be a healthy ‘safe zone’ for kids but instead they are ‘a 7 eleven’ with books,” said David, who along with Katie Couric executive produced the new film Fed Up which chronicles the nation’s food and nutrition policy crisis. “If we’re going to reverse the dangerous course we’re on, we’ll need to hold the food industry, and the Members of Congress that do their bidding, accountable. We need to get real about the food we are providing to kids and the impact that it has on their health. Their future, and the future of our nation, depends on us taking action.”

“Childhood obesity and the growing diabetes rate is a direct result of the food industry’s relentless focus on profits, and how much the government is beholden to corporate interests. This is the biggest health crisis of our time, and we can either start addressing it by serving kids healthier meals in school, or we can let industry profit continue to drive what’s being put on kids’ plates,” continued Fed Up director Soechtig.

The FY15 Agriculture Appropriations bill contains provisions that would roll back school nutrition standards. This would pave the way for fewer whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and more sodium, sugar and overall fat including saturated and trans fats in school meals. Less than a week ago, Food Policy Action along with more than 100 organizations from 36 states sent a strong message to Congress – don’t use the appropriations process to weaken federal child nutrition programs. The legislation would also circumvent the USDA/Institute of Medicine process determining the appropriate foods to offer in the food package for the Supplemental Women, Infants and Children Nutrition program.

Senators Hoeven and McConnell demand more salt, less whole grains for our kids

Senators Hoeven and McConnell demand more salt, less whole grains for our kids

By | May 21st, 2014 | Blogs, FPA Blogs & News |

capitol1a
Less than a week ago more than 100 organizations from 36 states sent a strong message to congress: don’t use the appropriations process to weaken federal child nutrition programs.

SENATE SET TO PICK UP WHERE THE HOUSE LEFT OFF ON SCHOOL LUNCH  May 21, 2014 By Claire Benjamin Less than a week ago more than 100 organizations from 36 states sent a strong message to congress: don’t use the appropriations process to weaken federal child nutrition programs. Unfortunately, that is exactly Congressman Valadao and the House subcommittee on…


SENATE SET TO PICK UP WHERE THE HOUSE LEFT OFF ON SCHOOL LUNCH  May 21, 2014 By Claire Benjamin Less than a week ago more than 100 organizations fr...

SENATE SET TO PICK UP WHERE THE HOUSE LEFT OFF ON SCHOOL LUNCH 

May 21, 2014

By Claire Benjamin

Less than a week ago more than 100 organizations from 36 states sent a strong message to congress: don’t use the appropriations process to weaken federal child nutrition programs.

Unfortunately, that is exactly Congressman Valadao and the House subcommittee on agriculture did yesterday, and what the Senate Appropriations Committee plans to do tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Senator Hoeven plans to offer an amendment backed by Republican leadership Mitch McConnell that would undo the progress made in the 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.

Mitch McConnell and John Hoven, the same Senate duo that most recently scored a 0% and 22% respectively on the National Food Policy Scorecard. Their low scores are credited to things like supporting a $13 billion cut to SNAP, the program that provides basic food assistance for low incoming families, and voting against labeling GMOs and the consumer’s right to know what is in their food.

More specifically the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has his eye on the majority next year and his friends want to prohibit the USDA from increasing whole grains and reducing salt in school meals. There’s leadership for you.

For now, Senate good guys still out number the group working to make meals less healthy, and while there may be fireworks tomorrow, the amendment will likely be defeated.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations is scheduled to mark up the FY15 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration bill tomorrow at 10:30 am. Tune in here.

 

Valadao and His Cronies

Valadao and His Cronies

By | May 20th, 2014 | Blogs, FPA Blogs & News |

school-lunch
It is hard to believe that Congress is so divided that republicans and democrats can’t even agree that schools should be serving students healthy, nutritious balanced meals.

House Agriculture Subcommittee Advances Spending Bill By Claire Benjamin It is hard to believe that Congress is so divided that republicans and democrats can’t even agree that schools should be serving students healthy, nutritious balanced meals. This wasn’t always the case.  Big annual spending bills used to be an opportunity to set aside partisanship, and…


House Agriculture Subcommittee Advances Spending Bill By Claire Benjamin It is hard to believe that Congress is so divided that republicans and democra...

House Agriculture Subcommittee Advances Spending Bill

By Claire Benjamin

It is hard to believe that Congress is so divided that republicans and democrats can’t even agree that schools should be serving students healthy, nutritious balanced meals.

This wasn’t always the case.  Big annual spending bills used to be an opportunity to set aside partisanship, and set the funding priorities for the year – to establish a baseline for what does and doesn’t get funded.

Unfortunately those days are long gone, and what stands in its place is almost unrecognizable.

Today, Congressman Valadao and his Agriculture Appropriations cronies brought forward a spending bill that will set this country’s nutrition policy backwards.

The worst part? They weren’t even trying to hid it. The Republicans opened with how glad they were this bill would weaken school meal programs.

This was all a well orchestrated plan. You see, earlier this month, more than 40 House members sent a letter to the USDA urging Secretary Vilsack to reduce whole grains in schools, increase sodium, and maintain the status quo on school snacks and ‘a la care options’ like pizza and hamburgers.

When it didn’t look like the administration would grant their demands, Republicans took matters into their own hands, and this morning, in the light of day moved forward a bill that would rollback school nutrition standards, all in the name of flexibility and progress.

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the Fiscal Year 2015 spending bill Thursday May 29th

Congress Poised to Roll Back School Lunch Standards Members of Congress working to strip key parts of school meal reform; add white potatoes to WIC program.

Congress Poised to Roll Back School Lunch Standards Members of Congress working to strip key parts of school meal reform; add white potatoes to WIC program.

By | May 19th, 2014 | FPA Blogs & News, Press Releases - Food Policy Action |

uscapitol
The House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees are scheduled to consider annual funding bills, released today, that include language that would weaken school meal program rules passed under the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Earlier this month, more than 40 House members signed a letter asking USDA to reduce whole grains and increase sodium in school meals, and maintain the status quo on school snacks and a la carte options.

For Immediate Release Monday May 19, 2014 Contact: Claire Benjamin 202-631-6362 claire@foodpolicyaction.org Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees are scheduled to consider annual funding bills, released today, that include language that would weaken school meal program rules passed under the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Earlier this month, more than…


For Immediate Release Monday May 19, 2014 Contact: Claire Benjamin 202-631-6362 claire@foodpolicyaction.org Washington, D.C. - Tomorrow, the House and...

For Immediate Release Monday May 19, 2014
Contact: Claire Benjamin
202-631-6362 claire@foodpolicyaction.org

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees are scheduled to consider annual funding bills, released today, that include language that would weaken school meal program rules passed under the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Earlier this month, more than 40 House members signed a letter asking USDA to reduce whole grains and increase sodium in school meals, and maintain the status quo on school snacks and a la carte options.

“The question I have is, why are Members fighting to roll back school nutrition standards? Our nation is facing a health and obesity crisis, and rather than think about the future of our children the members pushing for these rollbacks are only thinking about future campaign contributions,” said Claire Benjamin, managing director of Food Policy Action (FPA). “Schools have already made real progress implementing the reforms, and it is extremely disappointing that some members of Congress are advocating for business as usual.”

While amendments related to school lunch are not likely to be offered tomorrow, the underlying bill and report tees-up the full committee mark-up occurring when Congress returns from the Memorial Day recess.

“First Lady Michele Obama worked on a bi-partisan effort to reform, over time, the nation’s school lunch programs. The attempts of some in Congress to strip key parts of this reform is political pandering at its worst,” continued Benjamin. “What these legislators are claiming is just a call for ‘flexibility’ for schools, is in fact an attempt to attack the health of school lunches through the appropriations process. The majority voters want their kids to be served healthier meals at school, and we hope that legislators take a stand for kids when these dangerous provisions come up for a vote in the coming weeks.”

FPA also signed onto a statement today, joining the likes of the National PTA, American Diabetes Association, and the American Medical Association, opposing “efforts to use the appropriations process to change or weaken federal child nutrition programs, including potential efforts to require the inclusion of white potatoes in the WIC Program, to alter or delay implementation of meal standards in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.” Also, a link to the statement will be available at apha.org.

Launched in 2012, FPA was created to hold legislators accountable on a full range of food policy issues including healthy diets, hunger, food access and affordability and food safety.

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Our mission is to highlight the importance of food policy and to promote policies that support healthy diets, reduce hunger at home and abroad, improve food access and affordability, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increase transparency, improve public health, reduce the risk of food-borne illness, support local and regional food systems, protect and maintain sustainable fisheries, treat farm animals humanely and reduce the environmental impact of farming and food production. Food Policy Action promotes positive policies through education and publication of the National Food Policy Scorecard.

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