Much progress has been made in improving the nutritional value of school meal programs since 2012, when the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was implemented. In general, foodservice directors, staff and students have adapted to the new guidelines and are working well within them.
We at NutriStudents K-12 are disheartened by discussions in Washington, D.C., to roll back school meal standards and discontinue funding for after-school meal programs. We wholeheartedly believe our nation’s youth deserve the best, most wholesome foods we can provide and, particularly at-risk youth, need a consistent source of nutritional meals through their schools, and after-school and summer enrichment programs. Compromising nutritional guidelines and cutting support for these vital programs will only compromise the health and welfare of our youth – the future of our country.
While in Washington to meet with USDA representatives, we advocated for the preservation of the nutritional guidelines and for out-of-school enrichment programs in-person with staff members of our state’s Congressional delegation. These short meetings allowed us to educate staffers on the complexities of school nutrition programs, the merits of the current USDA guidelines for school meals and CACFP programs, and how NutriStudents K-12 is helping meal providers increase participation, reduce food waste, operate more profitability and please students.
We encourage you to also reach out to your Congressional delegation and express support for the current nutritional guidelines and meals provided through youth enrichment programs. These issues are certain to escalate in visibility as Washington evaluates ways to reduce government oversight and cut expenses. Don’t wait. You can locate your U.S. Representatives and Senators online.