Rachael Ray Pushes for Child Nutrition Programs
A new bill announced Thursday with the help of Food Network star and TV talk show host Rachael Ray was established to prevent hunger in America's children and provide better nutrition in school and out.
The proposed $8 billion bill would improve access and funding to school meal programs, improve access to out-of-school meal programs, help schools and child care improve the quality of meals and encourage public and private partnerships to improve child nutrition and wellness.
"I really think teaching a child good nutrition and the basics of cooking gives them the skills they need for self esteem and for security for the rest of their lives," said Ray. "The difference an apple or a good school lunch makes to these kids is more than just keeping them focused in class, you know, it literally is everything." The food Network guru strongly believes in a healthy relationship with food helps to empower children and their families in doing so through her nonprofit organization, Yum-O!
Many thanks go to the first lady as lawmakers praised first Michelle Obama for her hard work to combat childhood obesity through the Let’s Move program. She introduced to the legislation to stay in line with the goal to reduce childhood obesity, improve school wellness, implement new school food safety guidelines, and involve families and local communities. This is all part of President Obama’s goal to end childhood hunger by 2015.
Rachael Ray has made many trips to Washington, D.C. to urge lawmakers to improve child nutrition and end hunger. Ray said, “Today will mark the first day that we will end hunger for our kids and improve nutrition. Not many of us know what it would be like to close our eyes and be hungry. Imagine being a child and imagine what it’s like to truly be hungry.”
Ray made sure to point out ways to address the lack of healthy food options available to low income families. She mentioned planting gardens, whether on school grounds, or even on an abandoned piece of land. Ray also said that she talks to families all of the time that go to co-ops or a farmer’s market - wherever they can go to get healthy nutritious foods and stock up. Ray noted that education is essential. “You can go to any grocery store where you would have dried beans and a whole chicken. You gotta just learn some basic skills."