Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

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The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–296) is a federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 13, 2010. The bill is part of the reauthorization of funding for child nutrition (see the original Child Nutrition Act). The bill funds child nutrition programs and free lunch programs in schools for the next 5 years.[1] In addition, the bill sets new nutrition standards for schools, and allocates $4.5 billion for their implementation.[1] The new nutrition standards have been a point initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama in her fight against childhood obesity as part of her Let's Move! initiative.[2]

Legislative history[edit]

The bill was introduced in the US Senate by Blanche Lincoln, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. It was later approved by the Senate by unanimous voice vote on August 5, 2010. In the U.S. House of Representatives The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed with 247 Democrats voting for, and 153 Republicans voting against it. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on December 13, 2010. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is expected to take effect in 2014.[3]


In addition to funding standard child nutrition and school lunch programs, there are several new nutritional standards in the bill. The main aspects are listed below.[1]

New nutrition standards[edit]

  • Gives USDA the authority to set new standards for food sold in lunches during the regular day, including vending machines.
  • Authorizes additional funds for the new standards for federal-subsidized school lunches.
  • Provides resources for schools and communities to utilize local farms and gardens to provide fresh produce.
  • Provides resources to increase nutritional quality of food provided by USDA
  • Sets minimal standards for school wellness policies

Increases access[edit]

  • Increased the number of eligible children for school meal programs by 115,000
  • Uses census data to determine student need in high-poverty areas, rather than relying on paper applications.
  • Authorizes USDA to provide meals in more after-school programs in "high-risk" areas
  • Increases access to drinking water in schools

Program monitoring[edit]

  • Requires school districts to be audited every 3 years to see if they have met nutrition standards
  • Requires easier access for students and parents about nutritional facts of meals
  • Improves recall procedures for school food
  • Provides training for school lunch providers


  • Assumes that all children of any given age will have average dietary protein and calorie requirements and consequently fails to account for variance in activity levels or height, and access to food when they are not at school.[4]
  • Assumption that proteins are interchangeable.
  • Increases federal involvement in local school distrIcts.


  1. ^ a b c Child Nutrition Fact Sheet,
  2. ^ Kelly, Megyn (26 September 2012). "Students Choose to Go Hungry Rather than Eat Healthy School Lunches". Fox News Insider. FOX News Network. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Strom, Stephanie (27 June 2013). "Writer". New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Michelle Obama's Low-Calorie School Lunches Slammed By 'Hungry' High Schoolers". Huff Post Black Voices. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2013.