Final Child Nutrition Bill Language Includes Two Chu Provisions that Focus Aid on Nation's Neediest Students
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) played a major role in ensuring our country’s neediest students receive nutritional aid within a bill passed by the House Education and Labor Committee this morning. The Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act of 2010 includes amendments from Chu that prioritize the nation’s lowest performing schools to receive funding during the $10 billion expansion of the School Breakfast program and provide logistical support to needy districts to help implement nutrition programs.
"Study after study demonstrates the link between poor nutrition and poor educational performance," Chu said. "My amendment ensures that students at our most struggling schools receive their most important meal of the day. Additionally, by providing low-performing districts with assistance and logistical support, it allows them to focus their limited resources on improving their schools, instead of completing paperwork. Simply put, it helps our schools help our students achieve."
Over 68 percent of the schoolchildren in Chu’s Los Angeles-based district qualify for free school meals and countless more are eligible for food at reduced cost. The bill makes it easier for many of these students to receive meals by eliminating paper applications and using census data to determine eligibility for the program in high poverty areas. The bill also improves the access and quality of school meal programs for the more than 30 million students who receive assistance through the National School Lunch Program and establishes nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools. Additionally, the legislation incorporates Chu’s National School Lunch Protection Act of 2010, which ensures that the funds authorized to feed those children are spent on meals, not overhead or service costs.
Chu is actively involved in the Education and Labor Committee's reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Her recently unveiled "Strengthen Our Schools" framework pushes for a rethinking of current school turnaround policy and includes a greater focus on learning obstacles that exist outside of the classroom, like hunger, abuse and poor English-language comprehension.
Rep. Chu is an original co-sponsor of today’s legislation reauthorizing The Child Nutrition Act, which was first signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. It has the support of anti-hunger, nutrition and education organizations across the country.