parenting: Health care bill establishes nursing mothers' right to pump; Senate to consider Child Nutrition Act
Photo by Flickr user Daquella manera
Business & Legal Reports has a breakdown of how the legislation will affect employers. It says:
Breaks for Breastfeeding. The legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to require that employers provide unpaid breaks for employees to express breast milk. The legislation would also require that employers provide a private location for employees to have these breaks.
The measure applies to businesses with 50 or more employees.
In related child nutrition news, Senator Blanche Lincoln last week unveiled her version of the Child Nutrition Act, which the Agriculture Committee will take up this week. From All We Can Eat on the Washington Post:
Senate Agriculture Committee chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) unveiled a bill to reauthorize child nutrition programs. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 would boost funding by $4.5 billion over 10 years. That's less than half of the $10 billion President Obama called for in his budget. But it would be the first time since 1973 that Congress has increased the federal reimbursement rate for school meals.
The bill would allocate $1.2 billion to increase the number of children receiving food, an effort to meet President Obama's pledge to end childhood hunger by 2015. The remaining $3.2 billion would be used to improve the quality of meals. This includes an extra 6 cents per meal per student for schools that meet new, stricter nutrition standards and funding for schools to establish school gardens and to source local foods.
The bill also would mandate that the Department of Agriculture develop nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools, not just what is served in the lunch line.
Some critics, however, say it's not enough. From Slow Food USA:
Lincoln’s draft boosts funding for child nutrition programs by $500 million per year, and includes stronger nutrition standards and some support for Farm to School programs. She called it a “record investment in child nutrition programs,” which is technically true - but only because Congress has consistently under-funded school meals in every Child Nutrition Act until now. It’s encouraging to see that there’s any new funding, but Lincoln’s draft only has half of the $1 billion proposed by President Obama, which isn’t enough to transform school lunch in a time when nearly 1 in 3 children is obese or overweight.
Jen Eyer is on the Community Team at AnnArbor.com. She oversees the Parenting and Home & Garden sections, and writes feature stories, blog posts and opinion pieces. She can be reached at 734-623-2577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.