With limited time remaining before Congress breaks for the summer, IDFA joined several other food organizations and companies in urging the Senate to pass legislation that would reauthorize federal child nutrition programs. The Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 was unanimously approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee earlier this year but has not yet been considered by the full Senate.
IDFA joined more than 20 agricultural organizations and food companies to ask Senate Republicans to continue the bipartisan history of supporting federal child nutrition programs and to pass the reauthorization bill expeditiously.
“Reauthorization of our child nutrition programs is imperative to addressing issues of waste and fraud in the program, providing school foodservice authorities with needed flexibility in managing their programs, and allowing snack and summer meal providers to adapt the program to best fit local needs,” the groups said in a letter sent yesterday.
The letter further noted that Senate passage of the bill would be “an important step in the process of getting a bill to conference with the House and a negotiated agreement to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”
Read the letter here.
In a second letter sent yesterday to every senator, IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation highlighted provisions in the Senate bill that would lead to increased milk consumption. Specifically, the Senate bill includes provisions that would direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take steps to review and improve milk consumption in federal feeding programs, such as school nutrition programs. It also would address the needs of lactose-intolerant students by calling on USDA to offer lactose-free milk.
The letter stressed the importance of improving milk consumption, saying almost all age groups in the United States consume fewer servings of dairy than those recommended by the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
“Along with dairy’s long-established role in promoting bone health, reducing the risk of insidious chronic diseases and conditions demonstrates why milk is offered with every school meal and dairy foods are prominent parts of other nutrition assistance programs,” said IDFA and NMPF.
Read the letter here.
For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.