WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Aug. 5 passed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, child nutrition legislation seen as a key part to first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood obesity. The bill, which would provide $4.5 billion in new child nutrition program funding over 10 years, had stalled since Senate committee passage on March 17.

“This is a great victory for America’s children,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “This bill advances the Obama administration’s priorities to improve meal quality, strengthen nutrition standards for school meals, reduce barriers and increase access to healthy school meals, promote nutrition education, establish standards for competitive foods, and provide food to needy children during gap periods when the regular nutrition assistance programs are not in operation.”