H.R. 5146 National Defense Authorization Act Includes Support for Hungry Children

June 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

By Wendy Heiges, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Policy

Just in time for the Memorial Day holiday, House congressional leaders passed H.R. 5146: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011. This legislation provides support for our dedicated volunteer military, and also takes a stand on a troubling problem for our nation’s security. A new obesity report: “Too Fat to Fight” claims that 75 percent of young Americans are ineligible to serve their country because they have either failed to graduate high school, engaged in criminal activity, or are physically or mentally unfit. We know those at risk of hunger have an increased risk of obesity, and children who are hungry do not learn as well as they should.  Studies show hungry children are more likely to have chronic illnesses lifetime diagnoses of post traumatic stress disorder and other mental and physical issues. Whether you agree or not with the notion of an “obesity epidemic” in this country, it is clear military standards are not being met by a sufficient population, a cause for concern and action.

Below is an excerpt of the amendment that was added to the bill to address the problems of hunger and obesity in children and its impact on national security. You can read the full amendment here.

SENSE CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) reducing domestic childhood obesity and hunger is a matter of national security;

(2) obesity and hunger will continue to negatively impact recruitment for Armed Forces without access to physical activity, healthy food, and proper nutrition;

(3) Congress should act to reduce childhood obesity and hunger;

(4) the Federal Child Nutrition Programs under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) should be funded at the President’s request; and

(5) the increases in funding for such programs should be properly offset.

How did our leaders in Central Texas vote for this amendment?

Aye TX-6 Barton, Joe [R]
Aye TX-10 McCaul, Michael [R]
No TX-11 Conaway, K. [R]
Aye TX-21 Smith, Lamar [R]
Aye TX-25 Doggett, Lloyd [D]
Aye TX-28 Cuellar, Henry [D]
Aye TX-17 Edwards, Thomas [D]
No TX-31 Carter, John [R]

Take Action: Have you sent a letter to your Congressional Representative about the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill? It’s not too late.  Send a letter online. It’s simple and it’s easy.

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