March 6th, 2007 05:20 EST
National School Breakfast Week
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2007 " Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today acknowledged National School Breakfast Week by highlighting the importance of breakfast and the role USDA`s School Breakfast Program plays in the national nutrition assistance safety net.
"Research shows a connection between starting the day with a good, nutritious breakfast and improved academic performance," Johanns said. "A healthy start is key and USDA strives to ensure that every child gets a healthy breakfast. Our 2007 farm bill proposals would help us to meet that goal by giving schools greater access to fruits and vegetables."
USDA`s farm bill proposals would increase the department`s purchases of fruits and vegetables for use in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, as well as the department`s other nutrition assistance programs. The proposals would provide more than $3 billion for these purchases. Additionally, the department proposes funding to study how increasing nutrition in school meals can impact obesity rates in children.
The President`s FY08 Budget requests $59.3 billion for USDA nutrition-assistance programs " a 70 percent increase since 2001. Nutrition assistance programs now represent 59 percent of the USDA budget.
Each year USDA, in partnership with the School Nutrition Association, recognizes National School Breakfast Week in order to highlight the benefits of the School Breakfast Program. USDA`s School Breakfast Program provides nutritious breakfasts to more than 9.8 million school children each school day in over 84,000 public and private schools. The Program provides healthy breakfasts to enable children to begin the school day ready to learn.
Eating a nutritious diet, making healthy choices, being physically active every day, and getting preventative health screening are the four pillars that make up President Bush`s HealthierUS initiative to help Americans live longer, better, and healthier lives. For more information on USDA nutrition programs visit http://www.usda.gov
Keith Williams (202) 720-4623
Susan Acker (703) 305-2286