There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (10/30/2003)

Healthy Children Through Better Nutrition Act of 2003 - Amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (CNA) to reauthorize various programs, including the national school lunch and breakfast, child and adult care food, after-school snack, summer food service, and special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC). Revises requirements relating to eligibility for and access to such programs. Establishes programs for: (1) year-round community child nutrition; (2) school meals improvements grants; and (3) free fruit and vegetables at schools.

Expands eligibility for free meals.

Makes homeless children and youth automatically eligible for free lunches and breakfasts.

Lowers area eligibility thresholds under the child and adult care food programs and the summer food service program.

Provides for direct certification of children as eligible for free meals, without further application, based on their being in households receiving assistance under the food stamp program or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program under title IV part A of the Social Security Act, and through other means-tested programs.

Provides for categorical eligibility for recipients of other means-tested benefits.

Revises the summer food service program to make it a permanent rather than a pilot program, and to provide startup and expansion grants.

Revises school breakfast programs to provide: (1) startup and expansion grants; and (2) universal secondary school breakfast pilot projects.

Provides commodity assistance for school breakfast, as well as school lunch, programs.

Revises the child and adult care food program to provide for nutrition education pilot programs.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to establish a year-round community child nutrition program.

Requires local educational agencies (LEAs) participating in school meals programs to establish school nutrition policies that at a minimum ensure that operational responsibility for school food services includes approval of all foods sold on campus, excluding occasional sales.

Revises prohibitions and restrictions on competitive foods sold within food service areas.

Revises requirements for nutritional reviews.

Authorizes the Secretary to make school meals improvement grants to State educational agencies.

Directs the Secretary to carry out an expanded pilot program for availability of free fruits and vegetables throughout the schoolday.

Revises the system of nutrition education grants to SEAs to provide Team Nutrition Network (TNN) program grants to States for various State and local community activities, including subgrants to schools and school food authorities to carry out nutrition education activities at the local level.

Requires schools to serve milk in a variety of fat contents. Permits soy milk to be included as a fluid milk option if the Secretary determines it to be nutritionally equivalent and to meet nutritional standards.

Revises certification requirements for WIC program participation to: (1) allow a State to certify breastfeeding women for up to one year or until they stop breastfeeding, whichever is earlier; and (2) modify physical presence requirements.

Expands the definition of nutrition education under WIC to include not only dietary habits but related matters such as physical activity, parenting, and child development.

Directs the Secretary to engage the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine every ten years to reevaluate the supplemental foods available in the WIC program and recommend changes.

Extends through FY 2009 the authorization of appropriations for: (1) the WIC program; (2) WIC nutrition services and administrative funds; and (3) WIC farmers' market nutrition program.

Directs the Secretary to make competitive grants to private nonprofit entities and educational institutions to establish and carry out Farm-to-Cafeteria projects to improve access to local foods in schools and institutions receiving funds under NSLA and CNA (except the WIC program, which already has a WIC Farmers Market Nutrition program).

Requires States to amend their plans to describe how funds for State administrative expenses will be used for technology and information management systems (TIMS), and how they will use such systems to improve program integrity in certain ways.

Directs the Secretary to make funds available, on a competitive basis, to provide for grants to schools and school food authorities to purchase or upgrade TIMS for use in NSLA or CNA programs.

Directs the Secretary to develop policy and establish procedures regarding the purchase, distribution, notice of consumption, and provision of information regarding irradiated foods in Federal school meals programs.

Extends through FY 2009 the authorization of appropriations for: (1) State administrative expenses (CNA); (2) the commodity distribution program; (3) training, technical assistance, and food service management institute (NSLA); and (4) accommodation of the special dietary needs of individuals with disabilities (NSLA).

Reauthorizes through FY 2009 the exclusion of military housing allowances from consideration as income in determining eligibility for free or reduced price lunches.