Michelle Obama's Plan for Healthy School Lunches Still Faces Funding Hurdles

The first lady rolled out her campaign against childhood obesity Tuesday, and put a special emphasis on the need to get healthier choices onto school-lunch trays. The federal government is a major player in this area, since the federally funded school-lunch program feeds 31 million low-income American children a year and provides many of those kids the bulk of the calories they consume a day. As part of Michelle Obama's comprehensive approach to dealing with the obesity problem, she's secured commitments from food-industry experts to reduce the amount of fat, sugar, and salt in the products they supply. But upping the number of fruits and vegetables on kids' trays is an expensive proposition, since these products have increased 50 percent faster than other foods over the last 20 years. Nutrition experts had been hoping the president's new budget might add $1 a day to the $2.63 current allocated for each school lunch to pay for higher-quality foods. While the program did get a boost in a very lean year, it will only add about 20 cents more per lunch, or roughly, an apple a day. If the government wants more green on the plate, they'll have to come up with more green as well.