Our commitment to American Indian and Alaska Native leaders, members, and communities is one of great importance to the Obama administration and to me as USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. This past fall, the White House concluded its second Tribal Nations Conference which provided a venue for tribal leaders to engage in dialogue with high-ranking officials on a wide range of social, economic and political challenges facing Indian country.
I would like to continue the dialogue and invite tribal leaders or their delegated representatives to formally consult on how we can improve the health and nutrition of our children in Indian Country.
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently sent an invitation letter and informational packet to tribal leaders describing major provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010—a key piece of legislation signed by President Obama on December 13, 2010. The legislation authorizes funding and sets critical policy for USDA’s child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Summer Food Service Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
The act allows USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children, and help a new generation win the future by having healthier lives.
To help prepare for consultation on this important act, we are providing an informational webinar for tribal leaders and members to attend and learn more about the provisions. This information session will be held March 30, 2011, 2pm – 4pm eastern time. Please visit our website to register.
In addition, you will also find our consultation schedule for the spring and summer. We encourage tribal leaders and members to visit our website and register today. Together, we can and will improve healthy eating and access to nutritious foods in Native communities.