Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger set aside $8.5 million in the new California state budget for integrating fresh produce, whole grains and other healthful foods into school meals. Announced May 14, his final budget revision stated that current and upcoming nutrition standards required adequate education and technical assistance be provided at the school level so healthful foods and meals are delivered to students, teachers and staff.
The governor’s office said this plan is consistent with Schwarzenegger’s “lifelong support of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle [which] emphasizes the need for strong nutrition programs.” The governor’s goal is to prevent obesity, and eating healthful foods is a key component of his health care reform proposal, his office said. It added that this approach is a natural step for the state of California, which is the U.S. leader in agriculture production.
Members of the Whole Grains Council (WGC) praised the governor’s proposal and hopes the state’s legislature will support it.
“The dream that became the WGC reality was born in San Diego in 2002, and it’s wonderful to see a strong governor like Mr. Schwarzenegger pick up the whole grains cudgel on behalf of his state’s young people,” said K. Dun Gifford, WGC board member and Oldways president.