The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry has unanimously approved the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which reauthorizes the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, while also establishing federal nutrition standards for foods sold on campuses.

In an attempt to address epidemic levels of childhood obesity, the bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to designate school standards consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

“As a mother of two boys, it’s important to know that healthy, more nutritious foods will be more widely available throughout school campuses,” said Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln (D-AR).

“When it comes to what our kids eat at school, we need to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” added Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). “That means ensuring that kids have the ability to choose from foods that meet science-based nutrition standards. This agreement provides a commonsense approach to healthy eating, and it starts in a place where our kids spend the majority of their day: their schools. With childhood obesity and diabetes on the rise, it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

“Current nutrition standards haven’t been updated since my children were in school in the 1970s,” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). “Today, my grandchildren are in school and are faced with the same junk food choices that should have been replaced years ago. It’s long past time to bring these school food standards into the 21st century, and I am pleased that, with this agreement, we are one step closer to passing these changes into law.”

For Your Organic Bookshelf: Free for All: Fixing School Food in America