Updates to the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill, Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2017 (formerly the Healthy-Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010-2015).
This Act ensures that kids receive healthy food by funding school meals; supplemental nutrition assistance for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); the summer feeding program and more. Click here to see more information about this legislation.
Learn more about this through the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act primer from the Food Research and Action Center.
- H.J. Res. 124 will continue government funding through January 19, 2018. The bill includes the Championing Healthy Kids Act that reauthorizes the Children's Health Insurance Program with Prevention and Public Health Fund to pay for these programs. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, along with other health-focused organizations, opposes this approach.
- The US Department of Agriculture released an interim final rule that gives schools the option to serve low-fat (1 percent) flavored milk. This changes what schools are currently allowed to serve which is low-fat and non-fat unflavored milk as well as non-fat flavored milk. Too, the rule provides this milk flexibility to the Special Milk Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program operators serving children ages 6 and older. States will also be allowed to grant exemptions to schools having a hard time obtaining whole grain-rich products acceptable to students during 2018-2019. Schools and will be provided more time to reduce sodium levels in school meals as well.
- Farm to school policies have been a key strategy for making local food procurement, food education and school gardens happen. This resource outlines the farm to school bills strengthening the movement. It’s called the “State Farm to School Legislative Survey: 2002-2017,” and it reviews state-by-state proposed farm to school policy since 2002, shares legislative trends, provides case studies successful advocacy efforts and other resources for those working to advance farm to school in their communities.
- The US Department of Agriculture requested your commentary on food crediting, the system that defines how each food item fits into a meal for the National School Lunch Program and other federal child nutrition programs. The hope is to receive information from a variety of stakeholders’ perspectives. Your comments are welcomed by February 12, 2018. More details here.
- California adopted a bill that prohibits a schools, school districts, or charter schools from advertising food or beverages during the school day.
- The proposed federal level Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017 would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to remove certain limitations with respect to commodity assistance for school breakfast programs.
- The proposed School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017 would authorize evaluation and promotion of milk within the school meals program to reverse declining milk consumption in schools.
- This proposed federal bill would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to include canned, dried, frozen, and pureed fruits and vegetables in the fresh fruit and vegetable program.
- Before September 2018, California requires high poverty schools to begin providing breakfast and lunch free of charge through the universal meal service to all students.
- In California, the Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017 ensures no one is shamed or treated differently for not paying their school lunch.
- Washington D.C. is looking to pass a bill that would provide free lunches for all students in public, charter, and public schools.
- The Healthy Schools Temporary Amendment Act of 2017 is a proposed bill in Washington D.C. that would increase the number of grants for physical activity in schools, the inclusion of local organizations within these programs, and the school eligibility for these grants.
- New York will ask the commissioner of education to make guidelines for providing donation of excess, unused, edible food from school meals to food assistance programs.
- In Ohio, they proposed a bill to establish the Breakfast After The Bell Program for all public schools.
- A school organization releases some healthy ideas for kids and their parents.
- Community Food Advocates share numerous articles about free school lunch in schools with a majority of low-income students. They’re archived here.
- Universal free lunch now available for the New York City School system. Articles here and there.
- In New Jersey, this adopted bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to establish voluntary guidelines for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education to reduce and recover food waste and extends "Food Bank Good Samaritan Act" immunity protections to public and nonpublic schools.
- This study solidifies the link between high schoolers who have lower test scores, often don’t have active lifestyles or healthy diets. This link does not prove that one factor caused the other.
- The US Department of Agriulture's Secretary Perdue shares in Georgia's schools' success.
- This bill was adopted in New Jersey and establishes the Farm to School Coordinating Council. The Council will analyze and improve the current Farm to School programs. It also will look at procurement practices of food from New Jersey farmers and encourage more farms, schools and local community members to participate.
- In Oregon, this bill establishes a farm to school grant program that will assist school districts with paying for costs of purchasing food processed and produced in state, along with supporting agricultural and gardening education in the school district.
- At the Federal level, the Nutrition Education Act was proposed by a Pennsylvanian representative. It would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require that local school wellness policies include a requirement that students receive 50 hours of school nutrition education per school year.
- The Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger created a summer meals map that displays summer meal locations across the city.
- Nutrition Coordinators for Local Healthy Youth Act would amend the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to establish a grant program to appoint nutrition coordinators to oversee local school nutrition policies in local educational agencies.
- Another California bill eliminates marketing of food products and corporate incentive programs in schools that do not meet the National school nutritional standards.
- The Nutrition Education Act (H.R. 3323) requires schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to include 50 hours of nutrition education each year. It should be incorporated into classes like math, science, language arts, and social studies. The press release is here here.
- This bill bans meat and poultry from China from being used in school lunch.
- US Department of Agriulture's Secretary Perdue celebrates Georgia's schools' success.
- The President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shares all she knows about school nutrition in this podcast.
- Kids need to be fed well. That’s why the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reviewed Child Nutrition Program. The effectiveness of these programs was assessed in their new report, “Children’s Food Security and USDA Child Nutrition Programs." A two-page summary can be found here.
- The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) released, “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Breakfast Status Report,” measuring last year’s summer school breakfast participation, sharing best practices, and setting future goals. More information can be found here.
- This bill ensures that through nutrition education, school gardens, and encouraging community partnerships with local farms; Vermont students will eat and learn about healthy, local food sources.
- In D.C., this bill would amend the Healthy Schools Act of 2010 by adding yearly subsidies for schools implementing breakfast in the classroom; dismissing reimbursement for meeting the school lunch nutrition guidelines; strengthening nutrition requirements for sodium, milk, and whole grains; requiring vegetarian food options each week; and encouraging schools to procure food consistent with the Good Food Purchasing Program.
- In New Jersey, this bill pushes the president and congress to streamline the summer meals program application and increase access to the program.
- In New York, this bill would require a school meal policy regarding unpaid school meal fees and prohibits schools from shaming or treating students differently when students have unpaid school lunch fees.
The US Department of Agriculture signed a proclamation announcing relaxation of school meal requirement for school districts. The press release https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAOC/bulletins/197d8fc?utm shares that he wants to :
- exempt schools from serving 100 percent whole grain products in 2017-2018
- delay the sodium requirements through 2020
- begin the regulatory process to allow schools to serve 1% flavored milk
- Seven of the nation’s largest urban school districts will continue to reduce sodium levels, increase the percentage of whole-grain rich foods to 100 percent and serve only nonfat flavored milk rather than 1 percent milk. The Urban School Food Alliance issued a statement on the matter.
- Over 200 Nebraskan schools fight classroom hunger through community eligibility.
- The focus on school lunch shaming is causing Pennsylvania’s schools to do things a little differently to support their children.
- A school lunch shaming bill has been drafted in the Pennsylvania Senate.
- Taking a hungry kid’s food away from them because of an unpaid bill happens everywhere, even in our state.
- After school programs work.
- Here is a rundown of school-based meal programs and what they provide for kids. A video gives a shout out to a Pennsylvania-based program.
- Kids who are affected by hunger in the first few years of life can lag in school.
- Students at schools that contract with a healthier school-lunch vendor perform better on state tests—and this option appears highly cost-effective compared to policy interventions that typically are more expensive, like class-size reduction. Read the study here.
- A Virginia school opts into the Federal School Lunch program to provide free and reduced lunches.
- In Nebraska, late breakfasts feed hungry kids.
- North Dakota kids visit a farm that often provides them with part of their school lunch.
- Community eligibility in an Indiana school district feed the hungry and stop these kids from getting stigmatized. See how!
- A Colorado school district’s cafeteria seeks participation from local farmers and ranchers.
- Students help their fellow students at their schools food pantry!
- In Texas, school breakfast programs play a key role in feeding hungry kids.
- A bill gives schools the flexibility to serve breakfast as they see fit – grab-n-go breakfast, breakfast in classrooms, or a second-chance breakfast where kids can get breakfast after it’s typically served.
- In light of the 2018 Super Bowl, kids and communities are benefiting from wonderful, healthy breakfasts and funding throughout the year.
- Too many kids go to school hungry. That’s why national programs are working to fight to reduce these numbers.
- Are you curious about what’s happening in school food. Then, I recommend you follow this blog, The Lunch Tray, run by a lawyer who’s been involved with food policy for her entire career.
- It’s okay! The free and reduced-school lunch program is not disposable. Even with eye-opening headlines saying the opposite, we need to step back and really understand their position.
- Certain schools in South Carolina provide free and reduced lunch to their students. But, now a bill is proposed to provide free and reduced lunch to all students.
- An Atlanta school receives funding to provide after school feeding programs.
- A New Jersey school district ranked 19th in feeding low-income students a healthy school breakfast. See how their implementation compares to a school district that ranked 4th in the nation.
- How does YOUR state rank on Food Research and Action Center’s School Breakfast Scorecard? Find out.
- Check out this page to learn the Congress members assigned to various health and nutrition related committees.
- This school foodservice director has championed healthier meals in her schools serving 84,000 students.
- Community eligibility programs allow for all kids in this high school to receive free meals. See its impact.
- The Connecticut Department of Education is asking for sponsors to support their summer meals program.
- Schools in Miami make big-time changes to their foodservice facilities. Here is what resulted!
- A Southwest Kansas Summer Food Service Program Summit tries to tackle childhood hunger in their state.
- One elementary school in Nebraska shows that the grab-n-go breakfasts increased the number of kids participating in school breakfast.
- Schools are now required to come up with a plan to encourage healthier foods in school, whether it’s in the vending machines, classroom or school cafeteria.
- Learn about what was most recently implemented in schools because of Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act or Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act.
- A grant buys a bus that will feed hungry kids over the summer
- In Arizona, public schools are trying to serve healthy meals to their hungry children three times a day.
- In Boston, fresh, healthy food is delivered on a school bus.
- In Charlottesville, Virginia they’re planning to serve local foods on their school’s menu.
- Schools served breakfast and lunch over the holidays. They’re costumes prove it!
- A Wisconsin school serves free school breakfast for all and serves as a model program for their state.