American Farm Bureau Expresses Support for Senate Child Nutrition Legislation Goals
WASHINGTON– The American Farm Bureau Federation told Senate Agriculture Committee leaders today that it supports the goals of the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016.
In a letter to Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), AFBF said the legislation “improves flexibility for school lunch programs and reinforces dietary guidelines which include dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables, and grains.”
“Lifelong healthy eating habits begin with children having healthy choices—and school food programs are pivotal in shaping those healthy dietary habits,” Farm Bureau’s letter stated. “This child nutrition legislation will enhance efforts of federal nutrition programs to provide nutritious meals and teach healthy eating behaviors.”
The letter stated that Farm Bureau is pleased that the proposed legislation includes provisions to boost milk and dairy product consumption through the National School Lunch Program.
“The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends three dairy servings per day and offering milk with each school meal helps to meet that goal,” Farm Bureau said. “School meal offerings should include milk or dairy products for the essential nutrients they provide to growing children, such as protein, potassium, vitamin D and calcium.”
The letter also highlighted AFBF’s long-established support for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, expressed support for provisions allowing schools to transition to the program standards under the hardship exemption and emphasized support for the “Buy American” provision of the federal school lunch program.