WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver remarks at a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on Tuesday, September 8 outlining the Obama Administration's strategy to improve national nutrition and address persistent poverty – and calling on Congress to reauthorize a strong suite of child nutrition programs, including the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a key component of that strategy that has helped to improve nutrition for millions of children.
Joining Secretary Vilsack will be American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Sandra Hassink, MD, FAAP, and Jessica Donze Black, director of child nutrition at the Pew Charitable Trusts, who will also provide brief remarks. All three participants will take questions from the assembled media.
For the past three years, kids have eaten healthier breakfasts, lunches and snacks at school thanks to the bipartisan Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which made the first meaningful improvements in 30 years to the national nutrition standards for foods and beverages served in cafeterias and sold in vending machines. A recent poll by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation shows that more than 80 percent of Americans believe the healthier school meals should stay the same or be strengthened.
As Congress turns its attention to reauthorizing the Act, our children are battling a national obesity epidemic that costs $190.2 billion per year to treat and, according to retired U.S. generals, threatens our national security by making almost one in three young adults unfit to serve in our nation's military. If we don't continue to invest in our children's health, this generation will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents.
Secretary Vilsack is the nation's 30th Secretary of Agriculture and one of the longest serving members of President Obama's cabinet. Since taking office in 2009, Secretary Vilsack has helped to oversee a record increase in agricultural exports, a dramatic expansion of local and regional food systems, instituted the toughest food safety reforms in decades, enrolled the highest number of acres in USDA conservation programs in history, and led significant investments in rural communities all across the United States, putting millions of Americans back to work and revitalizing the U.S. rural economy for generations to come.
This NPC Newsmakers news conference is scheduled for Tuesday, September 8 at 11 a.m. in the club's Holeman Lounge, on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building, 529 14th St. NW, Washington DC 20045.
Like all Newsmakers events, this news conference is open to credentialed media and club members, free of charge.