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SENATE INTRODUCES HEALTHY BREAKFAST BILL

 SENATE INTRODUCES HEALTHY BREAKFAST BILL
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Every child who attends


school in Pennsylvania would be assured a healthy breakfast under legislation introduced today by State Sen. John Peterson (R-25th District).
 At a Capitol news conference, Peterson was joined by Sen. Michael Dawida (D-43rd District), and William Reinke, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition on Food and Nutrition, to introduce a bill that would require all school districts in the commonwealth to make the national school breakfast program available to all students at all grade levels.
 "We should make every effort to ensure that the children in our school system, those we can readily reach, are getting a proper diet, and thus a better education," Peterson said.
 The senator referenced national studies that document the importance of proper nutrition as it relates to learning. He also said Pennsylvania studies show there is a significant increase in standardized test scores when children eat school breakfasts.
 "The school breakfast program is working well in almost 30 percent of our schools," Peterson said. "We must get the remaining 70 percent on board so that the children at those schools have the same nutritional opportunities."
 The senator explained that program start-up is easy and the program pays for itself. As such, schools are not being asked to undertake a costly or burdensome responsibility.
 "The best reason for doing this is that we can effectively start to reach the 227,000 Pennsylvania children under age 12 who are hungry," he said.
 Pointing to bipartisan support for the bill, Peterson noted that the governor increased the state's portion of school breakfast reimbursements from $.03 to $.10 in the 1989-90 budget, and that he has publicly spoken out in favor of reaching every child possible.
 "This bill gives us a chance to prove we can move ahead together on a plan that will reduce the number of hungry children in the state, encourage good eating habits that will benefit children later in life, and help ensure these same kids achieve their academic potential," he concluded.
 Reinke said the bill represents one of the best school breakfast bills and most comprehensive programs in the country.
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 /CONTACT: Julie A. Kissinger of Sen. John E. Peterson's Office, 717-787-6725/ CO: Pennsylvania Coalition on Food and Nutrition; Pennsylvania Senate ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: LEG


KA-MP -- PH019 -- 5371 11/20/91 11:16 EST
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Date:Nov 20, 1991
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