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Child Nutrition Reauthorization - 2017 Updates

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. 



  • 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. 



  • 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.


Commentary on the matter can be found here. One dietitian comments on the relaxation of the school lunch standards in a very practical way.