Democrats urge Congress to pass Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the congressmen spearheading the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act made a last-minute plea to the House  — “in the name of the child” — to support passage of the act on Wednesday.

“This is the right moral thing for us to do,” said Pelosi, who made a direct correlation between children receiving a nutritional diet and general prosperity, as well as several other attributes of national greatness.

“It’s about competitiveness. It’s about our national security. It’s about our moral responsibility to our children,” said Pelosi. “Simply put, we cannot ignore this challenge.”

The $4.5 million childhood nutrition bill will increase the cost of school lunches by 6-cents, establish community “farm-school networks,” and establish nutrition standards for all foods sold during school hours, according to Democratic California Rep. George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate in August but stalled just before the midterm elections as members worried the push to build gardens and feed children more carrots wouldn’t sit well with those still suffering in the poor economy.

There were also objections by anti-hunger advocates, who noted that about half of the $4.5 billion in funding would come from cuts of the federal food stamp program (SNAP), according to the Washington Post.

“Now it’s no secrets, the cuts of the SNAP food program don’t make a lot of sense to me. I don’t believe we should be taking access to food from some people in order to provide food for others,” said Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, who until recently was a key Democrat opposing the bill. “But we’ve been assured repeatedly by the White House they will work with use to restore those cuts.”

Democratic Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who authored the original Senate version of the bill, strongly urged Republican reps to “take a cue from the [unanimous] Senate” and pass the bill.

“We’ve already extended the status quo for these programs once and there are precious few days left before this Congress is done,” said Lincoln. “We miss the opportunity to improve these programs, it will be our children who pay the price for our inaction.”

“The clock is ticking. The time is now,” she added.

  • oc in nc

    No more junk-food allowed with food stamps.I am tired of standing in line at the store watching MY tax money pay for their crap.Only meat,fruit,vegetables and dairy allowed.

  • BJC49

    I’ve been in the lunch room and I couldn’t believe what I saw thrown away in the garbage every morning. Oranges, apples, banana’s. So now they want to raise the price for my children’s lunch (because I do have to pay) so they can throw more food away?

    The way things are going it will pay every taxpaying citizen to quit their job draw welfare, food stamps, free lunches, free health care, free housing, free phones, free internet and live the good life. Hell why work?

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  • clw

    I have ALWAYS had a problem with the school breakfasts and lunches. WHY on Earth can people not feed their own children? And don’t tell me they can’t. My mother raised six kids by herself and made us all breakfast each morning, and made all of our lunches and dinner and worked full time! We helped. There is NO REASON that kids should have to eat breakfast and lunch at school! School is for education. Meals should be eaten at HOME, as a family. Whoever started this awful trend did a HUGE disservice to the children who are forced into such a terrible situation. It’s humiliating, embarassing, NOT nutritional, and half the food goes right into the garbage can. Worst idea EVER.

    • The_anniebanannie

      My grandkids eat breakfast at school and I see nothing wrong with it. They get on the bus at 6:50 and don’t have lunch until 11:45. That’s a long time for little kids. My daughter is a single Mom who has to be at work at 7:30 (with a 30 minute drive). It’s better the kids are eating in school, than shoving something in while they are half-asleep and not hungry at 6 in the morning with everybody rushing around to get to work/school. At school they can get oatmeal, scrambled eggs, cinnabuns, french toast, etc. They love to eat with their friends in the morning and I think it’s great to start the day out with something positive.

      • clw

        I meant no offense; and I understand there are certain unavoidable circumstances, but in MOST cases I believe children can eat breakfast at home, lunch at school, and dinner at home. I know kids who eat all THREE meals at school, including dinner in their after-school programs waiting for parents to pick them up after work at 6:00.

        When my kids were younger I was married but stayed home for 10 years and we lived on one salary of about $40k a year. We NEVER went on a vacation and had few things that were new. We made alot of sacrifices so that I COULD be at home to see the kids off and personally get them home after school.

        CLEARLY, some things changed when I became a single mother, and CLEARLY times have changed even a decade later in THIS economy, when you take what jobs you can get even with long commutes. However, I STILL think government funded food programs are not the way to go.

        And don’t even get me started on why the schools start so EARLY, with little kids waiting for the bus out in the DARK in the mornings. Cripes, talk about NOT SAFE!! Why can they not start school at 8 or 9 so that kids can get on the bus in the safety of daylight at say 7 or 8, or their parents can personally drop them off as they head for work AFTER having fed their kids breakfast at home?! They can go to school until 5, what’s the big deal?!

        • The_anniebanannie

          They can’t go to school until 5:00 unless they give up after-school curriculum. That would mean giving up sports and music…which I think is ok to a certain extent, but for those kids that need the physical outlet, it’s not a good thing. What do you do with kids that need tutoring after school? or kids that have jobs? Plus, out at 5:00 means kids that ride the bus for 45 minutes don’t get home until 6. When do they do homework etc?

          There just aren’t simple answers that can be applied to all districts. This is why the federal government needs to get out of education and leave decisions up to local school districts and parents.

          • clw

            Agreed! Leave it to the private sector.

  • Tess_Comments

    The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is unnecessary.

    The USA already has many programs in place that make sure children have accessibility to food. In these food programs much food is WASTED.

    #1 Vote on extending the tax cuts for all temporarily (3 years)
    #2 Pass a temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.
    #3 DO NOT PASS any massive trillion-dollar bills that have been thrown together behind closed doors.
    #4 FORGET about the “DREAM ACT”. Legal US Residents do not want Undocumented Immigrants to get any form of Amnesty.
    #5 Make sure the Agencies that deal with Border and Immigration Control have the resources they need to enforce the CURRENT US Immigration Laws.

    NO to cap and trade.
    NO to more Government spending.
    NO to Big Government.
    NO to any form of Amnesty for Undocumented Immigrants that are in the USA.
    NO to the “Dream Act”.

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  • student1776

    There is nothing in the Constitution that empowers the Federal Government to engage in this kind of coercive, controlling thing. This is mainly a responsibility of parents with states and localities involved if at all mainly in public health inspections. The idea that the Congress think they have the right to dictate to and micromanage the decisions of American families is just disgusting. This is a communist mentality run by busybodies. Pathetic.

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  • PolyIndependent

    As much as I’m for “parents need to do their job”, I’m getting sick of these damned schools selling frickin candy, cookies, etc. with lunch! Our daughter eats at school, and we put money on her card so she can get lunch. But I can’t be there to make sure she eats right and these schools offer up donuts, cookies, chocolate milk and everything else for the kids to buy, and they don’t ask questions! Middle/high school is even worse. They take my ability to act as a parent out of my hands by offering food to my kids that I would NEVER let them eat at home. This is something that has really been pissing me off lately.

    • missywise

      I have a solution to your problem. Pack her a lunch – you moron. Hahahahahaha!

      • PolyIndependent

        Yea, because kids never have any money – you moron.

    • snappercat

      If what your children choose to eat concerns you, I’d suggest speaking sternly with your children – though I’d suggest cleaning up your language before addressing the perceived shortcomings of the school cafeteria. Evidently you even believe high school students incapable of food selection; at what point do people actually get to order off the grown-up menu?

      • PolyIndependent

        Why do schools need to offer cup cakes and donuts? Only reason is because they make money off it. You don’t need 13 yr old kids eating donuts for lunch every day.