Last week, we at Sip & Savor blogged about the American Beverage Association's participation in a groundbreaking announcement on national standards for foods and beverages sold in schools. Today is yet another significant day in the uphill climb to bring school nutrition standards into the new millennium as the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry starts its mark-up of the draft bill proposed by Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.

According to a news release, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is a "bipartisan, fiscally responsible bill making the largest investment in federal child nutrition programs to date." The beverage industry applauds Sen. Lincoln, as well as her colleagues - Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Reps. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., and George Miller, D-Calif. - for constantly pushing forward to ensure that we got to this historic day.

The beverage industry is committed to the health and wellness of its consumers, including America's schoolchildren. Just this month, we announced the remarkable results of the final progress report on the implementation of our School Beverage Guidelines. The report shows that, when it comes to beverages, it's a whole new day in America's schools. In fact, we've removed full-calorie soft drinks and slashed beverage calories available in schools by 88 percent!

So we look forward to what today will bring with the mark-up of Sen. Lincoln's legislation and encourage Committee members to continue the hard work in advancing school nutrition that Sen. Harkin began several decades ago.