SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 8, 2011 – USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today joined San Francisco Board of Education President Hydra Mendoza in a tour of E.R. Taylor Elementary School to see how the school exemplifies First Lady Obama's Let's Move! initiative, which is dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation. They observed children participating in organized physical activity, visited the school garden, and participated in a cooking lesson. The event is one of dozens taking place around the country this week to inspire communities, families and schools to take action against childhood obesity.
"Ending the epidemic of childhood obesity is an ambitious goal but it can be and must be done if we are going to win the future," Concannon said. "Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity, and today I am joined by community leaders who are working to make a difference in their schools so that their kids will grow up healthier and better able to pursue their dreams."
E.R. Taylor, a diverse elementary school in the San Francisco Unified School District, puts a special emphasis on physical activity and teaching students to make healthy food choices. Physical education is taught by individual classroom teachers while structured physical activities, led by student coaches at recess and lunch, are supported by Playworks, a national nonprofit organization. Students are taught about nutrition through cooking lessons and the school garden, both during and after school.
Concannon also emphasized the importance of improving the nutrition, health and well being of children through Let's Move! initiatives such as Chefs Move to Schools, Healthier US School Challenge and Fuel Up to Play 60, as well as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs. Improving child nutrition is also a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that passed Congress and was signed by President Obama on December 13, 2010. This legislation authorizes USDA's child nutrition programs, including the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program, which serve nearly 32 million children each day. It will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative. February marks the one year anniversary of Let's Move!, a comprehensive initiative with a goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles. This Obama administration priority is fundamentally changing the conversation about how we eat and stay active, helping to ensure future generations are ready to win the future. Learn more by visiting www.LetsMove.gov.
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