2:36pm

Thu May 24, 2012
Health and Welfare

AG Commissioner Visits Counties to Promote Nutrition

To encourage child nutrition and healthier school lunches, state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer visited six Kentucky school districts earlier this week. He met with school boards in Owsley, Jackson, Knox, Marion and Metcalfe counties, and visited Green County High School, according to a news release from his office. Many Kentucky children consume more than half of their daily calories at schools. During a typical school day, 4 in 10 American students buy and eat snack foods and drinks, the Pew Health Group found. More than 23 million children and teens in the U.S. are overweight or obese.

"Children who are overweight and obese are at greater risk of chronic ailments that can damage their quality of life and even shorten their lives," Comer said. "Schools can help students eat better, but many schools simply don't have the resources, the equipment or the training necessary to serve healthy meals on a consistent basis. I want to talk to local leaders about how the Kentucky Department of Agriculture can help."

"Just a small amount of money would enable many school districts to make healthy and nutritious foods available to their students," he said. "The KDA can help these schools wade through federal bureaucracy and find the necessary funding. We can also help with our Farm-to-School Program, which connects schools with local producers who can provide fresh Kentucky Proud foods. That's food for our kids, and it helps local farmers make a living."