Diabetes Dialogues

Supporting Healthier School Meals

Supporting Healthier School Meals

Did you know that Congress funds school nutrition programs for about 30 million children across the nation each day? The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) must regularly be renewed by Congress, and you can help ensure your lawmakers understand the importance of kids getting healthy food at school each day. Since 2010, when Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the legislation called for new evidence-based nutrition standards for school meals.

The NSLP and SBP has provided millions of school meals for children across the United States and since the implementation of these nutritional standards, the United States Department of Agriculture found that that NSLP lunches were lower in calories and empty calories than non-participants’ lunches, and the study found that school meals have become healthier since 2010.

But in February 2018, the nutritional standards laid out in the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 were rolled back, allowing schools to provide less healthy food to students.

To reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, Congress must support evidence-based nutrition standards for school meals and snacks, and other child nutrition programs. Childhood food insecurity affects 2.9 million children in the U.S., and school meals are effective in reducing food insecurity.

it is important that Congress support strong nutrition standards. Keep an eye out for calls to action for legislation that invests in school nutrition—we need your help to stand up for child nutrition programs.