Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Healthy Schools Act Saved

D.C. will continue serving fresh local produce

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.

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