USDA Helps Schools Build Back Better, Issues Transitional Nutrition Standards for Coming School Years IN THE NEWS
Amplifying the Importance of School Nutrition: Tools and Resources to Support Your Program Amplifying the Importance of School Nutrition: Tools and Resources to Support Your Program As schools continue to grapple with the impacts of the pandemic and work toward academic recovery, school nutrition programs are more important than ever. These new resources from Hunger Soluti s N w York and No Kid Hungry New York can help bolster y ur school meal operations, market and ex and your out-of-school-time programs, and mak th case for prioritizing school nutrition a administrators plan for the 2022-2023 s hool year. Check Out Our New Resources! Strategies for Improving Direct Certification Most school districts can take additional steps to increase the number of students they c rtify to eceive free school m als with ut submitting a school meal application. Str ng direct certificatio processes are a win-win fo school districts and low-income families, and many dist icts an take dditional steps to crea e their direct ce tification rat s. Le rn more her . Bolster Summer and Afterschool Nutrition As schools continue to grapple with the impacts of the pandemic and work toward academic recovery, school nutrition programs are more important than ever. These new resources from Hunger Solutions New York and No Kid Hungry New York can help bolster your school meal operations, market and expand your out-of-school-time programs, and make the case for prioritizing school nutrition as administrators plan for the 2022-2023 school year. Check Out Our New Resources! Strategies for Improving Direct Certification Most school districts can take additional steps to increase the number of students they certify to receive free school meals without submitting a school meal application. Strong direct certification processes are a win-win for school districts and low-income families, and many districts can take additional steps to increase their direct certification rates. Learn more here. Bolster Summer and Afterschool Nutrition Afterschool and summer enrichment programs are critical to academic recovery, and many school administrators report plans to expand these programs in the year ahead. New outreach resources on SummerMealsNY.org can help you recruit new site locations and market your program to families. And we can help you explore options for strengthening your afterschool nutrition programs, including switching from snacks to complete meals – at nearly 4x the reimbursement rate – to ensure kids are well-fed and ready to learn. Make the Case for School Meals Speaking with your superintendents, principals, and other administrators about your school m al programs? Check out our resource on how school meals support soci l-emotional climates. Speaking with your superintendents, principals, and other administrators about your school meal programs? Check out our resource on how school meals support social-emotional climates. With critical child nutrition waivers set to expire on June 30, 2022, the Food Research and Action Center is working with partners to gather and share stories about the Help Advocate for Child Nutrition Waiver Extensions Help Advocate for Child Nutrition Waiver Extensions With critical child nutrition waivers set to expire on June 30, 2022, the Food Research and Action Center is working with partners to gather and share stories about the impacts of the waivers to make sure lawmakers understand the importance of extending USDA’s waiver authority. Share how the waivers have helped your school reach kids during the pandemic, and why continued flexibilities are needed. impacts of the waivers t make sure lawmake s u derstand the importance of extending USDA’s waive authority. Share h w t w ivers have h lped your school reac kids during the pandemic, and why continued flexibilities are neede . Afterschool and summer enrichment programs are critical to academic recovery, and many school administrators report plans to expand these programs in the year ahead. New outreach re ources o Su merMealsNY.org can help you recruit n w site loc tions and market your program to famili s. A w can help you explore options for strengthening y r afterschool nutrition programs, including switch ng from snacks t omplete meals – at nearly 4x the reimbursement rate – to nsure kids ar well-fed and ready to learn. Make the Case for School Meals BY JESSICA PINO-GOODSPEED, K ISTA HESDORFER, EMILY GARTENBERG
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced updates to the school nutrition standards that give schools a clear path forward as they build back better from the pandemic. These actions provide support for the dedicated school meal program operators who provide critical nutrition to millions of children every school day. By issuing transitional standards that will begin in school year (SY) 2022-2023 and that USDA intends to run through SY 2023- 2024, USDA is giving schools time to transition from current, pandemic operations, toward more nutritious meals. In 2022, USDA will continue to prioritize supporting schools as they navigate the challenges of the pandemic and related operational issues while also ensuring children continue to enjoy healthy meals at school. The department is also planning for the future by engaging with school meal stakeholders to establish long- term nutrition standards beginning in SY 2024-2025 that will be achievable and put children’s health at the forefront. Together, these actions will pave the way to stronger, more resilient school meal programs. “Nutritious school meals give America’s children the foundation for successful, healthy lives,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We applaud schools’ heroic efforts throughout the challenges of this pandemic to continue serving kids the most nutritious meals possible. The standards we’re putting in place for the next two school years will help schools transition to a future that builds on the tremendous strides they’ve made improving school meal nutrition over the past decade.” Vilsack added that research shows that school children receive their healthiest meals of the day at school. USDA previously updated the school nutrition standards in 2012. Schools were largely successful in implementing the standards, which had a proven, positive impact on students’ diets. However, due to specific implementation delays and pandemic challenges, some schools may not be prepared to fully meet the standards for milk, whole grain and sodiumat this time. Today’s announcement gives schools clarity on those standards for the coming school years, allowing them to gradually transition from the extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic to normal program operations and meal standards that are consistent with the latest nutrition science, as required by law. The new final rule – Child Nutrition Programs: Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium – establishes the following requirements beginning SY 2022-2023: • Milk: Schools and child care providers serving participants ages six and older may offer flavored low-fat (1%) milk in addition to nonfat flavoredmilk and nonfat or low-fat unflavored milk; • Whole Grains: At least 80% of the grains served in school lunch and breakfast each week must be whole grain-rich; and
• Sodium: The weekly sodium limit for school lunch and breakfast will remain at the current level in SY 2022-2023. For school lunch only, there will be a 10% decrease in the limit in SY 2023-2024. This aligns with the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s recently released guidance that establishes voluntary sodium reduction targets for processed, packaged, and prepared foods in the U.S. All other nutrition standards, including fruit and vegetable requirements, will remain the same as the 2012 standards. Planning for the future, USDA intends to issue a proposed rule in fall 2022 that moves toward updating nutrition standards for the long term. USDA is required to update school nutrition standards based on recommendations from the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In doing so, USDA will prioritize seeking input from schools, industry and others to inform the process. The department expects to finalize that rule in time for schools to plan for SY 2024-2025. “These transitional standards are step one of a longer-term strategy to lean into the school meal programs as a crucial part of improving child health. Over the coming months and years, USDA will work closely with its school meal partners to develop the next iteration of nutrition requirements. We’ve got to find the right balance between standards that give our kids the best chance at a healthy future based on the latest nutrition science, and ensuring those standards are practical, built to last, and work for everyone,” said Vilsack. “The creativity of schools and other local partners who understand what works best in practice will be key as we grow into this new generation of school meals. We are eager to listen and learn from their ideas because when it comes to the health andwell-being of our nation’s children, wemust always continue to aim high and strive for the best,” Vilsack added. For more background about school meals and the rulemaking process ahead, please explore these resources: • Webpage: Building Back B tter with School Meals • Fact Sheet: Child Nutrition Programs: Transitional Standards for Milk, Whole Grains and Sodium • Infographic: The Road Ahead: Building Back Better with School Meals • Infographic: Ten Reasons to Build Back Even Better with School Meals! USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
We’d Love to Hear from You! Emily Gartenberg No Kid Hungry New York Share Our Strength Direct: (332) 213-1777 email@example.com We’d Love to Hear from You! Emily Gartenberg No Kid Hungry New York Share Our Strength Direct: (332) 213-1777 egart nbe firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Pino-Goodspeed Hunger Solutions New York Direct: (518) 915-6645 Jessica.PinoGoodspeed@ HungerSolutionsNY.org Jessica Pino-Goodspeed Hunger Solutions New York Direct: (518) 915-6645 Jessica.PinoG odsp ed@ HungerSolutionsNY.org
Krista Hesdorfer Hunger Solutions New York Direct: (518) 915-6648 Krista.Hesdorfer@ HungerSolutionsNY.org Krista Hesdorfer Hunger Solutions New York Di ect: (518) 915-6648 Krista.Hesdorfer@ HungerSolutionsNY.org
Powered by FlippingBook