Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Act serves up healthy meal plan

With the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, school lunch programs throughout the nation are about to drastically change for the better.

Appalachia is home to some of the most obese people in the nation, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The Athens City School District officials are happy  changes will soon be implemented.

ACSD provides 1,200 lunches and about 500 breakfasts per day. Director of Food Services for ACSD Tammy Dicken said she is happy the district is finally moving in the right direction when it comes to food selection and quality.

“We are adding a lot more whole grains, low-fat and low-sugar items,” Dicken said. “It’s finally coming around.”

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’s purpose is to provide healthy food options for students from all economic backgrounds as well as breakfast and after school meal programs. Through these programs, the main goal is to promote a healthier style of living and produce a healthier generation, according to the Food Research and Action Center.  

In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Athens County’s population under the poverty line at 29.6 percent, which means this bill would have a huge impact on the children in Athens’ schools. David Holben, a professor of nutrition at Ohio University, said that in this area, many people do not have access or the proper means to obtain healthy food.

“School lunches should promote healthy habits,” Holben said. “School lunch could be the only place for some children to receive quality food.”

With an obesity rate of 29 percent, Ohio has taken steps toward better nutrition in schools on its own, according to CDC. Lawmakers last summer made a move of their own toward healthier, affordable lunch programs as well as promoting an active lifestyle. Along with this bill, Ohio House Bill 530 states that all schools must give at least 20 percent of their lunches at a reduced price or free.

Dicken said there are standards that must be met in every lunch served. These standards are 2 ounces of protein, 1/4 cup of fruits and vegetables, and milk and bread four times a week.

“We give half a cup of both fruits and veggies anyway,” Dicken said.

In 2010, to coincide with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the United States Department of Agriculture created a new set of dietary guidelines for Americans as well as a new food pyramid. These new guidelines were created to help spread healthy living to not only students but also the rest of the family.

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese, and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release from the USDA.

Though the bill’s changes are in her preliminary stage, Ohio’s own efforts toward healthier school lunches are helping kids be healthier, Dicken said.

“Being a child of free and reduced lunches, I really think it helped me learn to like new foods,” Holben said.


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH