The director of the food program for the Des Moines Schools is one of the people scheduled to speak at a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. today on nutrition for schoolkids. Teresa Nece will testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee on a program that provides fruits and veggies for kids to snack on. Nece says the healthy snacks are given to kids once breakfast and lunch are over, and provide an alternative to candy bars and other sugary snacks.
Nece says the program has gone very well, and has changed the environment of consumption and changed families and the whole school. Nece says the program began two years ago and getting the kids to eat healthy wasn’t that tough. She says it became a "teachable moment" as they tried something new and looked at common items such as fresh pears and kiwi and tried them in the classroom.
The schools involved purchase the fruits and vegetables and then are reimbursed by the federal government. Nece says the biggest challenge they have is getting an organizational structure in place to get a daily delivery of fruits and vegetables delivered to the schools. Nece says she’ll recommend the program continue.
She says she’d like to see it expanded and money appropriated for the program to continue. Nece says 14 states are currently involved. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is holding the hearing.