We talk a lot about food here at NCPR, and lately, we’ve been talking a lot about subsidized food. Whether it’s what people are buying with money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, better known as Food Stamps) and the future of that program, or what’s being served at school lunch, it’s something that’s often on our minds (not surprisingly, as human beings who eat and care about others having enough to eat.)
Much of the news we see in the above-linked stories seems fairly dark — like that it’s hard for schools to provide healthier food for kids because they can’t afford it; or that neither the Farm Bill (which, of course, also plays a huge role in getting decent food to all of us) nor the SNAP program, many say, is as safe if they’re not in the same bill. So a piece of happy food news in the Glens Falls Post-Star caught my eye: Harrison Avenue Elementary School in South Glens Falls has won a grant to help it provide kindergarten through 5th grade students all over the community with healthy food to bring home over the weekends.
The $10,000 grant from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and the General Mills Foundation will support the school’s “Nutritional Nuggets” program, which currently works with a Latham food bank to provide 25 families with backpacks full of food. Harrison Avenue Principal Joe Palmer told the paper that the grant might help the program expand next year.
It should come as no surprise that good nutrition is vital for kids’ development (and conversely poor nutrition can have powerful negative impacts.) Nutrition provided through schools (school breakfast, school lunch, and to some extent summer meals) constitutes one of the major sources of that nutrition for many poor children (here’s an interesting 2010 article on how rural households take advantage of federal hunger programs for kids).
There’s a lot more detail about this program in the article, but it did my heart good to read about it, particularly considering the acrimony that’s characterized the House debate about food stamps and farm aid. The fact that that aid is public and this grant is private makes for an interesting (and likely fractious) point of debate, but I’m just going to stop here and think of delicious, healthy, food.