WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The United Fresh Produce Association applauds today’s passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, which previously passed the Senate by unanimous consent, will now go to President Obama for his signature. Passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act also represents the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.
“This historic legislation is a huge victory for children, their families and schools across America and a victory for fruits and vegetables and public health,” said United Fresh Vice President of Nutrition and Health Dr. Lorelei DiSogra. “For the first time in more than 30 years, Congress is increasing the federal reimbursement rate for school lunch by $.06/meal, specifically making possible the serving of more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. United Fresh is extremely gratified to have helped spearhead this landmark legislation that promises to dramatically improve the wellbeing of more than 31 million school children in America.”
In total, the bill includes provisions to improve the healthfulness of school meals and create healthier school food environments that increase student’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The legislation will also create national nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold in school vending machines, school stores and a la carte cafeteria lines.
“United Fresh and our members have helped lead the charge for healthier school meals for many years,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “It is so encouraging to see Congress recognize that giving kids healthier options is a great first step toward fostering a healthier country.”
United Fresh has established itself as a proven leader in child nutrition and recently launched Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools has pledged to donate 6,000 salad bars to schools nationwide in the next 3 years. The initiative, online at www.saladbars2schools.org, is a prime example of how increased consumption of fruits and vegetables plays a vital role in improving the health of America’s kids. United Fresh also championed the inclusion of fruits and vegetable vouchers in the WIC program and nationwide expansion of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program.
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association serves companies at the forefront of the global fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Western Regional office in Salinas, Calif., United Fresh and its members work year-round to make a difference for the produce industry by driving policies that increase consumption of fresh produce, shaping critical legislative and regulatory action, providing scientific and technical leadership in food safety, quality assurance, nutrition and health, and developing educational programs and business opportunities to assist member companies in growing successful businesses. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400.