September 2010 Issue
August 22, 2010

NYSUT, AFT, NEA push Congress to improve child nutrition

Author: Bernie Mulligan
Source: NYSUT United

NYSUT and its national affiliates, The AFT and NEA, continue to push Congress to improve child nutrition and ensure all children come to the classroom ready to learn.

The U.S. Senate has passed the "Improving Nutrition for America's Children" Act. It is hoped the House will act on the bill this fall, after negotiations about the best ways to fund the program.

The measure would:

  • Allow schools in high-poverty areas to offer free meals without collecting paper applications; 
  • Expand school breakfast programs; and
  • Establish national nutritional standards for all foods sold on school campuses, including vending machines.

NEA and AFT are also proposing more training opportunities for food service workers to strengthen their skills and learn new ways to prepare quality meals, and to oppose any efforts to outsource and privatize food-service jobs.

Meanwhile, NYSUT School-Related Professionals continue their work to keep students fed and healthy. "We rely greatly on government surplus and the free and reduced-price lunch programs." said Patty Kearns, a cafeteria worker and leader in the newly organized Tri-Valley Support Staff Association in Grahamsville, Sullivan County.