Lunch Budget

A $1 billion budget for getting good food into America’s schools is “a far cry from what’s needed” to pay for healthy nutrition, writes The Washington Post.

"For all the good first lady Michelle Obama's ‘Let's Move’ initiative will do motivating the private sector, there is hard work ahead as Congress takes up reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act this year. The administration has proposed an additional $1 billion per year for child nutrition in its fiscal 2011 budget. At first blush, given the state of the economy and the president's call for a three-year freeze on discretionary spending, this might seem like a win. The School Nutrition Association and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have applauded the proposal and are asking parents and school administrators to get behind this investment. But the truth is that $1 billion is a far cry from what's needed to get good food into schools. In fact, $1 billion for child nutrition per year translates to mere pennies for every school lunch. That's not even what it costs me to put a fresh apple on each lunch tray. The National School Lunch Program feeds nearly 31 million students every day for the bargain price of $9.3 billion per year. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture spends only $2.68 per lunch for eligible students. Do you remember when you last ate a fresh, healthy lunch for less than $3? With that in mind, it should be evident that we need more money for healthy school food."

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