After a year and a half of campaigning, we are thrilled to see that the House today passed the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Our nation’s school children were long overdue for an improved child nutrition bill that would allow schools to serve an improved, healthier school lunch.
There were significant and frustrating compromises made along the way: most recently, the funding of the bill with SNAP money—an aggressive move made initially in the Senate version, but then eventually also adopted by the House– that was likely intended to split the school food advocacy community and thus kill the bill. The school food advocacy community were rightfully outraged at the notion of taking money from hungry kids to….feed hungry kids. We described our somewhat reluctant shift of tactic in an earlier blog post–you can click here to read it.
Ultimately 1,350 organizations ranging from Feeding America to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to Slow Food USA joined together in a letter to the House of Representatives urging them to pass the bill before the end of the year. Today, it seems, that pressure finally worked.
It’s an imperfect bill, one that fell short of our hopes, however, it has several important gains within. What’s good about this bill: