Accompanied by Cabinet members, members of Congress from both parties, parents, teachers, students and the First Lady, President Barack Obama today signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 into law.
The signing took place at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
Obama said the act is vitally important to the health and welfare of our kids and to our country.
The President noted that the bill passed Congress with bipartisan support.
It reminds us that no matter what people may hear about how divided things are in Washington, we can still come together and agree on issues that matter for our children's future and for our future as a nation, Obama said.
The new law will improve the quality of school breakfasts, lunches and other foods sold in schools while also strengthening nutrition programs that serve young children, including WIC and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
The act is considered an important advancement of the Obama Administration's goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation, which First Lady Michelle Obama has championed through the Let's Move! Initiative.
We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams, because in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children, Michelle Obama said.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, As we continue to focus on the twin issues of childhood obesity and hunger, we will increase access to good, quality meals in school cafeterias so the nutritional needs of our youngsters are better met.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pointed out that the act makes the most significant investment in the National School Lunch program in more than 30 years.
Praise came from Republicans as well.
Former U.S. Republican Senator from Tennessee and physician Bill Frist now serves as vice-chair of the Partnership for a Healthier America.
This bi-partisan legislation will significantly enhance the quality of food for our children for generations to come and is a dramatic step forward in reducing childhood obesity, Frist said. As a physician, I know smart nutrition leads to healthy and productive lives.
Former Republican Governor of Arkansas and current television commentator Mike Huckabee said that in passing a bill that addresses the nutritional quality of school lunches, an important step is being taken to give children choices that will make them healthier and more productive.
Margo Wootan, director of Nutrition Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest said that getting junk food out of schools has been ten years in the making.
Wootan said the act is the result of the hard work of many individuals, but would not have passed without this administration.
When Michelle Obama thank her husband for making the hunger-free bill a priority in this legislative session, the President quipped that had he not I would have been sleeping on the couch.