Bread for the World Welcomes White House Focus on Child Nutrition

October 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Rev. David Beckmann, president, Bread for the World, welcomed the child nutrition priorities mentioned during a White House event today hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.

“President Barack Obama has committed to end child hunger by 2015, so I was pleased to hear terms such as ‘access’ and ‘affordability’ in describing the administration’s priorities for improving nutrition among our nation’s children,” said Rev. Beckmann. “Helping the more than 12 million kids in this country whose families struggle to put enough food on the table is a critical goal.”

During the event, “Healthy Kids Fair,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also highlighted opportunities to make progress in the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Earlier today, President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill into law. It provides funding for federal nutrition programs and includes a package of new initiatives focused on child nutrition.

“Only 12 percent of children receiving meal assistance during the school year receive food assistance in the summer,” Rev. Beckmann said. “Children are often left to fend for themselves over the summer and holiday breaks. We strongly support the administration’s efforts to ensure access to nutrition assistance for eligible children.”

The appropriations bill also provided $5 million to fund the Hunger-Free Communities Program, which Bread for the World has been advocating for since 2005. The program provides funds to support community anti-hunger efforts.

“The Hunger-Free Communities Program complements the president’s child hunger goal,” Beckmann said. “By focusing grants on groups working to reduce hunger among children, we can help states and communities reach the administration’s goal of ending child hunger in the U.S. by 2015.”

He added that while hunger affects people of all ages, it is particularly devastating for children. “Even short-term episodes of hunger can cause lasting damage to a child’s development,” he said. “Hunger puts children at risk for a range of cognitive, behavioral, emotional and physical problems. They are more likely to have trouble paying attention and concentrating, resulting in lower test scores, unruly behavior and increased absenteeism.”

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE Bread for the World

Source: newswire

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