POLITICS

Feds roll out $375 million in anti-obesity grants for low-income kids

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

The Obama administration is rolling out a new program to fight obesity among low-income children, with $375 million in grants for states that promote healthy eating consistent with the government’s latest dietary guidelines.

The grant program will serve Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp, participants; kids participating in school lunch and breakfast programs; and low-income individuals. It replaces SNAP’s existing nutrition education program, called “SNAP-ed,” with a new focus on childhood obesity.

“The rule continues commitment to serving low-income populations while focusing on the issue of obesity, a priority of this Administration,” according to the Office of Management and Budget’s notice on the draft rules.

Initial spending for the two-year grants was capped at $375 million, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. After the program is fully implemented, grants will be based on a formula that considers participation, the USDA notes.

The program will be awarded on an entirely federal basis, allowing states to fund programs “where they can be most effective without the constraints of a state match,” the OMB notice said.

According to the USDA, the goal of SNAP-ed is “to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles” consistent with USDA food guidance.

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