Congressman Tim Ryan Continues Fight to Bring Healthy Food to American Schools

Jan 20, 2016 Issues: Education

Akron, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan today applauds the inclusion of language from his legislation, the Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act, in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s markup of the bipartisan reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. Congressman Tim Ryan introduced the Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act in the House of Representatives in June of 2015.

“With more than 30 million children eating school meals each day and one-third of American children overweight or obese – putting them at risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases – we have the opportunity and the responsibility to do more. As a parent, I understand the importance of teaching our children how to eat healthier, and it is our responsibility to help reverse this dangerous trend. Salad bars have proven to be an effective and affordable way to make school lunch more nutritious. I want to thank Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for their leadership on this bipartisan bill, and for their understanding the importance of promoting healthier lunch options for our children.”

The Senate Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 would require the Secretary of Agriculture to ensure that school food authorities develop and implement a plan to encourage the use of salad bars and provide training and technical assistance to eligible entities to assist in establishing salad bars in schools.

The five year bill would reauthorize all federal children nutrition programs, including School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care food, Summer Food Service, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs, and WIC. These programs provide food and nutritional aid to millions of low-income children and pregnant women. More than 31 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program and over 11 million participate in the School Breakfast Program.

Congressman Ryan’s Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act has been endorsed by the United Fresh Produce Association, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the American Heart Association, The Ohio State University, Ohio Produce Growers and Marketing Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Real Food for Kids, U.S. Apple Association, National Potato Council, National Watermelon Association, the Western Growers, California Fresh Fruit Association, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, New York Apple Association, Texas Citrus Mutual, Texas International Produce Association, and the Texas Vegetable Association.