Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act

Stephanie Nixon

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The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 is targeted to improve child nutrition by educating and teaching children to make healthy choices throughout their lifetime.

This opened up reauthorization of child nutrition programs and to the school lunch and breakfast programs. The legislation includes the National School Lunch and Breakfast program, The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Summer Food Service Program, the Afterschool Meal Program the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed).

Step 1 Recognizing the Problem & Setting the Agenda

motive behind creating the policy

With obesity becoming this generations epidemic Michelle Obama launched the "Lets Move" initiative. In the process of meeting with educators, parents, businesses and all types of organizations all agreed something must be done to combat this rapidly growing problem. In the interactions it was noted that over half of children's calories are consumed while at school, and for some the meals provided at school are the only meals they eat. In knowing this the First Lady and others decided there should be guidelines on school foods to raise a healthier generation of kids.

Step 2 Formulating the Policy

writing and crafting of the policy

Through Michelle Obama's efforts The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act was written and introduced to the 111th Congress on May 5, 2010. It was reported to a committee where they recommended the bill be considered Further by the Senate. On August 5, 2010 it was brought to and passed by unanimous vote in the US Senate. The act was then taken to the US House of Representatives to be voted on where it was passed in both chambers and was finally sent to the president to be enacted or vetoed, in this case President Obama signed it into law during a signing ceremony at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington D.C.

Step 3 Adopting the Policy

making the policy official and enforceable

As mentioned above President Obama signed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act into law at a ceremonial signing at the Harriet Tubman Elementary school in Washington D.C. The HHFKA of 2010 included a $4.5 billion budget for a 10 year period and government claimed it would not cause a deficit. To provide children with all these fresh foods, communities developed relationships with local farms which provided resources for this policy to come to life. Schools are not required to join this program and may opt out after they adopt it, but schools that adopt the policy are offered benefits including an additional 6 cents reimbursement per meal.

Step 4 Implementing the Policy

Enforcing the policy after it becomes official

There Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 enabled regulation of all the nutritional programs, and with implementing the HHFKA it lead to expansion and change in some of these programs. Changes included revision of the Child and Adult Care Food Program to promote nutrition and wellness in child care settings. During the process of putting this policy to action the NEA worked with steak holders to make sure schools would do well and meet the CNA's overall goal of producing a healthy generation by the time they reach adulthood. Another part of this policy is to expand access of free water to students throughout the day specifically during meal time, where teachers are encouraged to put cups by the water fountain. In order to have resources to carry out this policy communities developed good relationships with farms and many schools even took initiative to create school gardens where children are involved in the growing and harvesting of the very food they will eat. Schools that did adopt and implement these new nutritional standards are required to implement a local school wellness policy as well. It required previous procedure revision, and schools were required to include goals for nutrition education, physical activity and other school programs to promote student health. Changes also had to be made in order to make the nutritional information of the school meals more available to parents. Also the HHFKA requires school districts to be audited every three years, as well as expand their recall procedure and analysis of food safety requirements.

Step 5 Evaluating the Policy

determining costs & benefits of the policy after it is implemented

In weighing out the pros and cons there are many of each. Some benefits of the act include the addition of over 115,000 students into the school meal program, it gives the USDA the authority to regulate what schools are selling, and many claim it provides additional funding to participating schools. On the other hand many claim schools are loosing money because children do not like the food being served more and more students opt out of school meals and bring their own. It was estimated that around 1,086,000 stopped buying school lunch. Another con being many students are still going through the day hungry, which is the exact opposite intent of the act. Although the 700-850 calorie window for high school students is more than enough for most, some highly active students complain this is just not enough and result to poor food choices as snacks to hold them over, defeating the purpose of the act.
We Are Hungry