Senator Gillibrand Speaking Up for School Health

August 12, 2009

By Amanda Chablani

We’re happy to see a new face in Congress, one that not only makes sensible health policy but also recognizes the important role schools play in making sure our kids are healthy.

Kristen Gillibrand, the junior senator from New York who filled Hilary Clinton’s seat earlier this year, has become the newest proponent of children’s health by sponsoring two important school-related bills in the Senate, one of which expands eligibility for free school meals and another that prohibits schools from serving foods that contain trans fats. 

As the new Senator stated, “We can't afford to let our children grow up in a culture of obesity.  If our children are going to have the opportunity to reach their potential, they need a healthy start. The most effective way to address obesity is to provide healthier food and exercise opportunities for our children. We need to be taking real steps to give parents, schools and communities the resources they need to give our children access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Senator Gillibrand, while new to the Senate, has a great track record of supporting children’s issues, especially in the arena of healthcare.  As a U.S. Representative, she supported the extension of Medicare benefits to children of low-income families, and the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). She has also worked on childhood health issues including autism, juvenile diabetes and child obesity and considers herself a “fierce advocate” for the health of our children.

We're glad to see another proponent of school health – welcome to the club!