Word came yesterday that the D.C. Council had spared the Healthy Schools Act from the budget axe.
While a number of social programs weren't so lucky, D.C. Council Chairman and Mayor-elect Vincent Gray chose not to follow the suggestion of outgoing Mayor Adrian Fenty and use some $4.7 million intended for better school meals to help close a $188 million budget gap.
The money funds an extra 10 cents for breakfast meals, 10 cents for lunches and five cents for every lunch that contains a locally grown product. It also picks up the lunch tab for kids who otherwise are eligible only for reduced-price meals.
Along with the many menu improvements instituted by the D.C. Public Schools' new food services director, Jeffrey Mills, the Healthy Schools Act has helped make a noticeable improvment to kids' cafeteria trays this year.
An aide to D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) said an outpouring of support for the law helped save the day.