Rachael Ray is famous for her perky personality and 30-minute meals on Food Network. But the issue of childhood hunger brought her to Capitol Hill today, and the affable TV talk-show host was optimistic but serious as she stood outside the Capitol to promote a new bill that requires schools to serve healthier foods.
Leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee invited Ray to D.C., where she spoke at a press conference to introduce the “Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act,” a bill to reauthorize the 1965 Child Nutrition Act. That law does not include the school lunch program but controls almost all other foods students eat at school and after-school programs.
“I really think that teaching a child good nutrition and the basics of cooking gives them the skills they need for self esteem and security for the rest of their lives,” Ray said. “Just being able to eat a nutritious meal really improves the quality of your life.”
Ray went on to say that good nutrition does more than keeping students focused in class, instilling healthy habits at an early age helps cut health-care costs and helps them learn to choose healthier options, particularly if they are short on money.