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Letter to Representative Braley Supporting his Child Nutrition Bill

April 30, 2009

Dear Representative Braley:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to thank you for your leadership in introducing legislation to help teach students how to make healthy food selections.

NEA believes that proper nutrition is essential to child development and student success.  Our members working in schools and classrooms across the country see first hand the link between good nutrition and learning.  It is clear that access to an adequate and healthy diet is an essential factor in academic achievement.

Unfortunately, too many of today’s students are ill-equipped to make healthy food choices, particularly given the variety of options available to them.  Your legislation would help address this growing problem by piloting a grant program to provide nutritional information on foods served in schools, and by teaching students about nutrition and healthy eating. 

Your bill provides an important first step toward addressing these important issues.  As Congress reviews school meals programs during the upcoming reauthorization, we hope that you will look for ways to encourage schools to partner with local farms (with support from the Department of Agriculture) to offer more organic and fresh produce and vegetarian options, to prepare more meals on site, and to pursue development of school vegetable gardens.

We thank you for your leadership on this important issue and look forward to continuing to work with you in support of great public schools for every student.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federa Advocacy