Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Representative Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., have introduced legislation aimed at making federal nutrition assistance programs more accessible and efficient in order to better serve the increasing number of individuals relying on these services. The Service for Healthier Kids Act would create a Nutrition Corps and operate in much the same manner as programs such as AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America.
The Nutrition Corps would operate through the Corporation for National and Community Services, which currently has hundreds of thousands of trained volunteers whose mission it is to meet the unmet human, educational, environmental and public safety needs of the United States. Service volunteers are focused on improving health and education status of economically disadvantaged individuals.
The program would help expand in-classroom breakfast by assisting with setup and clean up. It would also expand access to the summer food service program: helping educate and train program providers; help clinics participating in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children; and the program would help promote local agriculture and farm-to-school initiatives.