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For Immediate Release
May 10, 2010
For More Information Call:
Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy
(518) 455-5203

Improve Nutrition Programs for Children

Rivera Asks Federal reps to support increased funding for child nutrition

Albany - Assemblyman José Rivera (Bronx), the Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy wrote to New York's congressional delegation asking them to support President Obama's plan to increase funding by $1 billion a year for school meals, child care meals, the WIC program for pregnant, women infant and children, and other programs that are part of the federal Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

"President Obama has a goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015... No child should have to go hungry and all children should have access to an adequate amount of nutritionally sound food, to help them to achieve their potential. Stronger and improved child nutrition programs are essential in reaching President Obama's goal. Support of the President… is vital to the health of New York State's children," wrote Rivera.

Every five years Congress is required to "reauthorize" child nutrition programs such as school meals and WIC to set out funding levels and modify program goals and requirements such as nutrition standards and application procedures. All of these programs have a significant impact on the health and development of all New York children, but especially those form low-income families.

Rivera pointed out that, "Nearly one-quarter of today's children live in households that often do not have enough food to feed the family. In New York, one million children are fed by emergency food programs every year. Families that struggle to buy enough food also struggle to obtain healthy food…Poor nutrition affects children's health and capacity to learn in school and it is estimated that childhood hunger costs the U.S. economy $28 billion annually due to poor educational performance and long-term health costs."

Assemblyman Rivera also asked for support for increased funding for Farm-to-School programs which provide a win-win benefit of nutritious, fresh food for inner city school children and increased sales for rural farmers. "Although I am from the Bronx, as the Task Force Chair I have been a strong supporter of New York agriculture. We sponsored one of the first Farm-to-School laws in the country which was co-sponsored by over twenty NYC Assembly Members," wrote Rivera.

Assemblyman Rivera has also fought every year to increase the millions of dollars that the State currently spends to supplement the federal child nutrition programs as well as programs to help reduce nutrition-related health problems such as diabetes and obesity that are affecting more and more of our young people.

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