School nutrition discussed at Capitol

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Connecticut schools serve more than 300,000 meals every day. Keeping those meals affordable and as healthy as possible is the focus of a hearing at the State Capitol.

It's billed as a breakfast with the Governor, but this meeting at the Capitol is really about other meals in schools.

"And so we really need to look at what kids are eating and what they're learning and how they're learning what to eat, and school is really the prime place for that to happen," said Lucy Nolan, End Hunger CT Executive Director.

Nutritionists and healthy eating advocates, as well as anti-hunger advocates, are all asking the government to make sure Connecticut's kids get school meals that are affordable and healthy.

And if they're healthy as kids, "they grow up to live healthy productive lives, and our health care costs in terms of diabetes, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure are all reduced," said Sen. Don Williams. "So it's a wise investment"

Speaker after speaker called this a good investment. Investment implies spending money, so News 8 wanted to know how much this is costing. The answer is not nearly as much as it would cost not to do it.

"When you look at the long term consequences that an unhealthy diet can have on our students, that we're going to continue to have that funding and we'll continue to have the money for things we're doing in our schools," said Susan Maffe, school nutrition specialist.

"We are hungry..."

However, what about those viral videos last year of kids fainting from hunger because federal guidelines replaced the pizza and fries in the cafeteria with chicken and vegetables?

"Do we really see that," asked News 8's Kent Pierce.

"We don't. Connecticut is way ahead of the curve," Maffe said. "We have been for several years in both our ala carte and snack offerings."

It turns out Connecticut had already been serving the healthy stuff, and the kids were actually eating it.

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Connecticut (change)

Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
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