Earth Day Action Plan Includes Supporting Access to Healthy Foods for Children

April 22, 2009 § 2 Comments

Lisa Goddard
Advocacy and Online Marketing Director

We’re pleased to see the call to action on the Earth Day website for increased access to healthy foods for children.  Advocacy tips include supporting nutrition education for both children and parents, connecting with local schools to improve school lunches, and supporting the Child Nutrition and WIC Act Reauthorization of 2009.   CAFB is doing our part – we planted a square-foot garden, encouraging  the community to grow food for hungry Central Texans and continue to advocate for increased access to healthy foods

little-girl-with-tomatoe1Take Action:  81st Texas Legislature is also doing its part to support  Earth Day’s call to action to support healthy Texas children  – especially those in need.  Help us make every day Earth Day for hungry Central Texans by contacting your Senator or Representative about the following legislation.

HB 1622 creates a grant program distributing funds to food banks which will provide children at risk of hunger or obesity by increasing access to nutritious food.
Author: Giddings (Companion bill SB 944)
Status:  Passed in the House

HB 482 increases access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income people. The bill instructs the Texas Department of Agriculture to establish a time-limited competitive grant program to assist small grocers in low-income communities where access to larger food retailers is limited. The program will assist grocers that receive grants to be able to effectively and efficiently stock fresh produce.
Author:  Rodriguez
Status: Passed in the House

HB 4629 creates an Early Childhood Health and Nutrition Interagency Council which helps identify and implement best practices in nutrition and physical activity for children under age six.
Author: Lucio (Companion bill SB 395)
Status:  In Committee

boys-smiling-with-arm-around-each-otherSB 282  provides for nutrition education in early childhood and after-school environments and to reward achievements in school nutrition and establishes three new grant programs to address this:  the Fresh Start Program, which provides grants to pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs to support nutrition education among three-year-olds and four-year-olds; the Community Nutrition Program, which provides grants to community and faith-based programs for children and youth to support nutrition education; and the Healthy Rewards Program, which provides grants to individual schools based on best practices in school nutrition.
Author: Nelson
Status:  Out of Committee

SB 867 requires a school district in which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible to participate in the national free or reduced-price lunch program, unless the school district obtains a certain waiver, to provide or arrange for the provision of a summer nutrition program for at least 30 consecutive weekdays during the period in which school districts are recessed for the summer.
Author:  Lucio
Status:  Out of committee, placed on intent calendar

SB 868 provides free breakfast to all elementary school students during school hours if 60 percent or more of the students attending the school qualify for the free or reduced-price breakfast provided by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966. The bill also requires a school district or open-enrollment charter school to participate in and provide all students access to the National School Breakfast Program if at least 10 percent of the students enrolled in one or more schools in the district are eligible for free or reduced price breakfasts.
Author: Lucio
Status: In Senate Education Committee

SB 343 requires that an advisory committee be established to identify the extent of the lack of access to fresh, healthy foods in underserved areas of the state and provide recommendations to the legislature regarding options for increasing access to healthy foods for Texans living in these areas.
Author: Nelson
Status: In Public Health Committee

boy-eating-cerealSB 344 establishes an advisory committee to study and make recommendations to the legislature regarding the costs, benefits, feasibility, acceptance, incorporation, and use of food stamps and WIC program benefits at Texas farmers markets.
Author: Nelson
Status:  In Public Health Committee

SB 1027 establishes an interagency farm-to-school coordination task force chaired by representatives of the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Education Agency, the Department of State Health Services, farm organizations, and other relevant public and nonprofit partners.  The bill expands and coordinates current systems and creates mechanisms to facilitate local food purchases by school districts, expand food-focused experiential education, and assist farms and schools in overcoming barriers to increase the use of fresh fruits, vegetables, and health practices in school diets. 
Author: Watson (Companion bill, HB 1840)
Status:  Passed Senate, In House Agriculture Committee

Learn more about these bills.


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