National

Mar 24, 2010 1:02 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Congress takes aim at unhealthy school lunches

Greasy pizzas and high-calorie desserts may be less frequent lunchtime treats for schoolchildren under a wide-ranging nutrition bill approved by a Senate panel.

The legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate Agriculture Committee would create uniform standards for all foods in schools, including vending machine items, to give students healthier meal options. The legislation allocates an additional $4.5 billion over 10 years for nutrition programs.

It would also expand the number of low-income children eligible for free or reduced cost meals - a step Democrats say would help President Barack Obama's goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015.

The bill has support from many of the nation's largest food and beverage companies, including Mars Inc. and PepsiCo.

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