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Public Statements

Providing For Consideration Of S. 3307, Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts, and I thank the gentleman from Florida and wish him the very best of luck in his future. He has been a good friend and a terrific legislator, too, as well here.

I rise in support of S. 3307, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Too many families are struggling to put food on the table. There are 40 million people going hungry in the United States right now. We recently passed the SNAP program. We recently put stimulus money to increase the SNAP program to provide food for many individuals. There is 9.6 percent unemployment in the United States, 14 percent in my district alone. These are individuals that are struggling to put food on the table.

Can you imagine a child that does not have the ability to put food in their stomach? One in four American children are currently at risk of going hungry. You have to feel what a person who is actually going hungry and doesn't know where their meal is coming from. And one in three American children are either overweight or obese. When we talk about it's going to cost the taxpayers money, no, it's actually going to save the taxpayers money in the long run because it's costing us, right now, $147 billion in what we are paying for obesity right now. It would reduce our health costs in that area, reduce our costs overall.

As chair of the House Agriculture Committee on Nutrition, I chaired hearings both in Washington and in California to explore ways to fight childhood obesity and increase access to healthy food. Today's legislation offers a step forward in addressing both child hunger and obesity. This bill expands the after school and summer meals programs, better connects eligible children with free meal benefits, improves and expands the school breakfast programs, extends the WIC certification period for children, and puts more fresh fruits and vegetables into our schools.

We passed the No Child Left Behind. Well, can you imagine a child going to school and having to pass a test?

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Many children have a difficult time passing a lot of these tests because they're going hungry.

None of us are pleased with the cuts to the SNAP program made by this bill, but I am committed to work with the administration and my colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee to ensure that we fully fund the SNAP program.

I urge my colleagues to stand up with our children and pass this much-needed legislation. I ask you to support this.

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