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Child Nutrition Reauthorization - 2015 Updates

Updates to the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill, Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 (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.



  • “Economies of Scale, the Lunch-Breakfast Ratio, and the Cost of USDA School Breakfasts and Lunches” is a study that researches how the balance between the cost of breakfast and lunch affects schools. Review summary and full report.
  • The US Department of Agriculture's Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that 97% of schools report successfully meeting updated nutrition standards, and the number of eligible schools utilizing USDA's Community Eligibility Provision has increased by 20 percent since last year. Secretary Vilsack made this announcement before members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. They just released a policy statement calling for pediatricians to reduce childhood food insecurity.
  • The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), along with the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) worked to update the 2014 State School Health Policy Matrix. It looks at state-level school health policies for topics like competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity.
  • Famous chefs visited congress to stand up for childhood nutrition.
  • Tackling childhood obesity is a collaborative cause – families, communities, teachers, doctors can all be involved! See how you can participate.


  • Chefs from around the country stand up for school lunch standards. They used the hashtag #EatLikeAKid on Twitter and posted 1000s of pictures on Instagram.  Read more about this event, here.
  • Farm to school census data was released. More kids purchase and consume school food when a farm-to-school program contributes to it. Find more positive results at this website.
  • Farm to school census data was released. More kids purchase and consume school food when a farm-to-school program contributes to it. Find more positive results at this website.
  • Community eligibility increased the number of schools offering free and reduced lunch by 20%.
  • One kid advocates for healthy food in schools. Read her story here.




  • Feeding America advocates for a Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act.
  • Both chambers will return from recess September 8. All twelve FY 2016 spending bills are not complete, with little likelihood that they will be done by October 1 of new federal fiscal year. A short term extension of all federal funding is expected.
  • The Senate Agriculture Committee plans on holding a markup of a child nutrition reauthorization bill on September 17. The House has not chosen a date to focus on this bill. October 1 marks the date when the current authorization expires. But, programs will probably be extended until a reauthorization bill is adopted and enacted into law.
  • If you are a part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can access their Executive Summary of Child Nutrition Reauthorization.


  • The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to consider a child nutrition reauthorization bill on September 17. According to this press release, this year’s bill will be an opportunity to build on previous successes, to strengthen after school and summer meals, to expand the availability of local foods, and to protecting critical assistance to pregnant mothers and their babies.


  • “Professional Standards in School Foodservice: How Smarter Lunchrooms Can Help” is a webinar that will describe Professional Standards that are required for every school lunch room under the Health Hunger Free Kids Act. Then, it will dive into how Smarter Lunchrooms can help cafeterias meet those standards. Watch the thirty minute recording here.
  • Team up for School Nutrition archive contains webinars explaining the goals of this pilot program that makes sure healthier meals are being served in school cafeterias. They also cover financial and menu planning tips, and display the trainings for each pilot region.
  • The House Education and the Workforce Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee held the “Child Nutrition Assistance: Looking at the Cost of Compliance for States and Schools” hearing. It highlighted testimonies from foodservice directors and other professionals about the challenges and successes of healthier school lunch programs. Read their testimony and watch a webcast here.
  • The Healthy School Meals Flexibility Act would reduce the whole grain requirement from 100% to 50% and raise allowable sodium levels in school meals. This letter was signed by multiple school-based organizations and coalitions supporting the act.
  • According to this research brief, 64 percent of eligible children participate in the National School Lunch Program and 52 percent in the Breakfast Program. Read all participation details in this report.



  • Schools would be able to opt out of nutrition standards in the Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act (H.R. 1504).  Opting out is only allowed if the school’s food service program is operating under increased costs as a result of the guidelines. Also, whole-grain rich requirements were dropped from 100 percent to 50 percent, and sodium restrictions were suspended. Find out more, here.
  • The American Heart Association CEO talks healthier meals with students.
  • The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act gets healthier foods in schools. Look at this article for some great resources and for information on the future of this Act.
  • Team Up in Training is a national Initiative expanding nationwide to help schools get healthier on a limited budget.
  • The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act makes sure healthier foods land in schools. Look at this article for some great resources and for information on the future of this Act.




  • Use these tips to get kids to reduce wasted, healthy food on plates in the school cafeteria.


  • Sam Kass is replaced in the Let's Move movement. See who was chosen to fill his big shoes. Here is Marion Nestle’s take on his replacement's qualificiations.
  • Check out these infographics to see how the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) is helping to create a healthier next generation.
  • UPDATE: The House had adopted and sent to the Senate for final action a $1.1 trillion spending bill funding all federal programs and agencies through September 30, 2015. A compromise was reached on the school meals ruling for schools having issues meeting the US Department of Agricultures school nutrition standards: It states to (1) waive the whole grain requirement if schools demonstrate challenges (including financial hardship) in procurement whole grain products. (2) Lower sodium requirements for meals were suspended until more research proves the reduction's benefits. As reauthorization of this act is slated for 2015, there is a possibility that a waiver will be provided to cash-strapped schools to implement all nutrition standards at a later date.
  • Food politics throughout 2014