Dear editor,

Children face many challenges as they grow up, but one they shouldn’t have to address is access to nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables and beans. Eighty-four percent of children ages 6-11 do not meet the government’s guidelines for vegetable consumption and 74 percent do not meet the fruit guidelines. These numbers are perplexing when so many options exist to enjoy these foods in their canned, frozen, fresh and dried forms as part of a healthy diet.

Healthy food options are part of a debate right now in Washington, D.C., surrounding the funding legislation for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, which include all children’s nutrition programs. One step legislators can take is to ensure all forms of fruits, vegetables and beans are accessible to people at all income levels. It’s a simple and critical action. Access to these vital foods brings us one step closer to helping children and adults live healthier lives while meeting government nutrition guidelines. By granting access to all forms of these healthy foods, the government gives consumers the power to select the nutritious options that best meet their families’ preferences and lifestyles.

Rep. Alan Nunnelee has a strong track record for Lee County of supporting measures like this that provide families and their children better access to fruits, vegetables and beans in all forms. His constituents have been able to count on him making food and nutrition issues a priority. I encourage you to contact Rep. Nunnelee to show your support for the work he’s doing to make all forms of healthy foods available to everyone, and ensure you have a voice in bringing healthy foods to all Americans.

Richard Tavoletti

Executive Director

The Canned Food Alliance

412-456-3435

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