Times-Herald (Vallejo)

Garamendi in Contra Costa to commemorat­e National Nutrition Month

- By Thomas Gase tgase@timesheral­donline.com

On Tuesday, Congressma­n John Garamendi (DCA08) joined U.S. Secretary of Agricultur­e Tom Vilsack, California First Partner Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, and California State Superinten­dent Tony Thurmond at Betty Reid Soskin Middle School in El Sobrante to commemorat­e National Nutrition Month and National School Breakfast Week.

At the event, the group discussed the Biden-Harris Administra­tion's National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Ensuring children have consistent access to meals that support their health and well-being is the cornerston­e of this plan, and that's why today the group highlighte­d the innovative school lunch program at Betty Reid Soskin Middle School that could be implemente­d at a national level.

The group also discussed Rep. Garamendi's “American Food for American Schools” legislatio­n, which aims to increase the “Buy American” requiremen­ts under the National School Lunch Program to ensure students have the healthiest food possible in their school lunches.

“I was thrilled to join Secretary Vilsack and my distinguis­hed colleagues today to discuss the incredible school nutrition program at Betty Reid Soskin Middle School,” Garamendi said. “Here, students and faculty alike manage a school garden program that supplies organic produce for school lunches throughout the region. West Contra Costa Unified School District and the Biden Administra­tion understand the critical relationsh­ip between a healthy student and academic achievemen­t, and that's why the school district partners with local, organic farmers through the use of U.S. Department of Agricultur­e grants. The school garden and school lunch programs at Betty Reid Soskin Middle School are exemplary, and as a member of Congress, I will work to support these programs and ensure they are achievable for every school district in America.”

Garamendi went on to talk about his “American Food for American Schools” legislatio­n.

“This will build upon our successful effort last year to improve the `Buy American' reporting requiremen­ts in the House-passed Child Nutrition Reauthoriz­ation,” Garamendi said. “Every student deserves access to nutritious food to fuel a healthy and prosperous life. Everyone in attendance today will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that goal is realized.”

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