Senator Brown Introduces Children's Nutrition Bill
Legislation seeks to aid childhood hunger during summer break
September 11, 2012
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Columbus – Today, State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) introduced Senate Bill 372 that will require school buildings to be made available during the summer to serve meals in areas where 50% or more of the local children qualify for summer meal programs.  Many schools have been forced to end their summer food programs due to a lack of finances, making the required meal programs unavailable to children in need. 

“Hunger does not take a break in the summer,” said Senator Brown. “Many children are unable to obtain much needed nutrition once the school year ends due to a lack of accessible meal sites.  Schools are often at the center of neighborhoods and are already convenient locations for children to access.  This measure is a step to alleviate childhood hunger.”

Under the proposed law, schools could explore partnerships with local governments, faith-based providers or nonprofits to aid in the delivery of nutritious meals to children in the summer months at potentially no cost to taxpayers.  Schools would also have the option to provide the meals themselves.

Senate Bill 372  also includes a revision to current Ohio law that prevents children from eating while on a school bus.  This revision would permit school districts to use a stationary school bus as a place where children can consume their meals. Once one group of children has finished their meals and exited the bus, it could be moved to another location, creating a mobile feeding site to help meet the nutritional needs in each neighborhood.

The proposed law would also create a new healthy food service license for family childcare providers that would allow them to offer fresh produce. Currently, in order to serve fresh produce family childcare providers are required to secure the same commercial food license needed by supermarkets and restaurants.

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