From advocates and faith leaders who know that school meals are vital for combating hunger, feeding more than 31 million children a day.
And from military leaders who tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight, they tell us that childhood obesity isn’t just a public health issue; they tell us that it is not just an economic threat -- it is a national security threat as well.
Now, these folks come at this issue from all different angles. But they’ve come together to support this bill because they know it’s the right thing to do for our kids. And they know that in the long run, it won’t just save money, but it’s going to save lives.
And let’s be clear: These folks don’t just support this bill as leaders and as professionals, but as parents as well. And we know that ensuring that kids eat right and stay active is ultimately the responsibility of parents more than anyone else.
And everywhere I go, fortunately, I meet parents who are working very hard to make sure that their kids are healthy. They’re doing things like cutting down on desserts and trying to increase fruits and vegetables. They’re trying to teach their kids the kind of healthy habits that will stay with them for a lifetime.
But when our kids spend so much of their time each day in school, and when many children get up to half their daily calories from school meals, it’s clear that we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well. We can’t just leave it up to the parents. I think that parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won’t be undone each day in the school cafeteria（自助餐厅） or in the vending machine（自动售货机） in the hallway. I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards.
And particularly in these tough economic times, when so many families are struggling, when school meals sometimes are the main source of nourishment for so many kids, we have an obligation to make sure that those meals are as nutritious as possible.
But by improving the quality of school meals -- and making sure that more children have access to them -- that is precisely what the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is going to do. Because while it might seem counterintuitive, child hunger and child obesity are really just two sides of the same coin. Both rob our children of the energy, the strength and the stamina they need to succeed in school and in life. And that, in turn, robs our country of so much of their promise.
Both, though, can be solved when we come together to provide our children with the nutritious food that they need and deserve. That’s why for well over half a century, we’ve made child nutrition a national priority.
The bill we’re signing into law today actually has its roots in the National School Lunch program signed into law by President Truman after World War II. And it also has roots in the Child Nutrition Act that was passed just two decades after that in 1966. Now, the idea for that act came from a priest named Revered C.B. Woodrich, who worked with children in Denver, Colorado.
Many of these kids were going hungry because they couldn’t afford to buy lunch. Reverend Woodrich thought that was unconscionable, and he decided to do something about it. So he somehow managed to talk his way into a meeting with President Johnson. He arrived at the Oval Office without any kind of report or presentation or speech. Instead, he simply brought an enormous album filled with the photos of children in need, which he promptly spread across the President’s desk.
The Reverend, he wanted -- later explained that the size of the photo album was deliberate, because he wanted to be sure that it would be big enough to cover up everything else on the President’s desk. And that’s hard to do. It’s a big desk. (Laughter.)
It is to this day a moving reminder that the most important job of any President is to ensure the well-being of our nation’s children, because we know that the success of our nation tomorrow depends on the choices we make for our kids today. It depends on whether they can fulfill every last bit of their potential, and we, in turn, can benefit from every last bit of their promise.
That is our obligation, not just as parents who love our kids but as citizens who love this country. That’s the mission of this legislation –- to give all of our children the bright futures that they deserve. And that is why I am so proud to be here. I am so proud to have worked on this bill with all of you, and now I am pleased to stop talking and turn this over to my husband so that he can get to work signing that bill.
THE PRESIDENT: Let’s go sign this bill.
MRS. OBAMA: Let’s go do it.， 英语文章