February 10th, 2011

Michelle Obama celebrated the first anniversary of Let’s Move! yesterday on the Today Show.

Let’s Move! is a national campaign that promotes healthy, active lifestyles for American kids. After her Today Show appearance, Mrs. Obama spoke at a church in Alpharetta, Georgia, recalling some of the past year’s successes while challenging attendees to continue working for childhood nutrition.

“As far as we’ve come, when nearly one in three kids in this country is still overweight or obese, then we’ve still got a long way to go,” she said.

One of Let’s Move’s biggest successes of the past year was the newly signed Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (PDF) that has promised a $4.5 billion increase in funding for the National School Lunch Program and other child nutrition programs over the next 10 years.

This newly signed act also gives the USDA the authority to set nutritional standards for all foods regularly sold in schools. Standards include:

  • Calorie limits in school meals
  • Reducing sodium by more than half
  • Banning most trans fats
  • Increased servings of fruits and vegetables
  • Requiring all milk to be low fat or nonfat
  • Requiring all flavored milks to be nonfat
  • Eventually requiring all grains to be whole grains

These changes will have a major impact on Alabama students, since more than half are currently enrolled in the Free or Reduced Lunch Program, and nearly one in four live below the federal poverty line. School breakfasts and lunches are the primary source of nutrition for many of these kids. The new guidelines mean they will have access to more nutritious, wholesome foods.

We hope you will join the conversation about improving the school lunch program – and that’s why we’rescreening Lunch Line this Sunday, February 13 at 3 p.m. at the Bama Theater in Tuscaloosa. Lunch Line is a fun, informative documentary about the history, opportunities and challenges of the school lunch program.

The screening will be followed by a Taste $2.72 reception featuring food from local favorites includingMug Shots, Surin, Roly Poly, Newk’s, Don Rafa’s Mexican Grill, Mellow Mushroom, and more. Tuscaloosa lunchrooms are reimbursed $2.72 for each lunch served, and we want to give you an idea of how far that can go.

Advance tickets are available here, or you can purchase tickets using cash or check at the door. Tickets are $5 for students and $15 for adults. Kids 5 and under are free.

We hope to see you on Sunday!

posted by T.C. McLemore